SAN DIEGO – Today, the Biden administration began its reimplementation of the cruel and unjust “Remain in Mexico” program, or Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), in San Diego County.
Remain in Mexico is a Trump-era program that forces people seeking asylum in the United States, including families with small children, to wait in Mexico while they pursue their asylum claims in U.S. courts. This process can take months, if not years.
The Biden administration ended Remain in Mexico in June 2021. In August, a federal district court in Texas ruled that the administration did not follow proper procedures when terminating the program and ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to restart the program.
The administration announced its reimplementation of Remain in Mexico in early Dec. 2021 and began enforcing it in Texas on Dec. 8. But this restart goes beyond what the court requires and expands it to apply to additional nationalities.
The ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties issued the following statement demanding that the Biden administration end Remain in Mexico once and for all:
“We call on President Biden to keep his word and take all actions available to his administration to restore access to asylum at the border. We urge the administration to permanently re-terminate ‘Remain in Mexico,’ and immediately rescind all other policies that obstruct access to asylum, including Title 42 – another unjust policy that turns people away at the border under the guise of public health.
“Under the Trump administration, more than 70,000 people who sought refuge in the U.S. were made to wait in Mexico where they lacked access to their support networks, shelter, food and other necessities. And many were separated from their families and loved ones.
“Reimplementation of this expanded Remain in Mexico program in San Diego will needlessly subject many more people seeking asylum to trauma, suffering and due process violations.
“The same harms that were well documented under its previous implementation will continue unless Remain in Mexico is brought to a complete end.”