CWS Welcomes End to Remain in Mexico, Calls on Biden Administration, Congress to Act in Interest of a Just, Humane Asylum System

June 30, 2022

Washington, D.C.—Church World Service today applauded a Supreme Court ruling affirming the Biden administration’s authority to end the “Migrant Protection Protocols”, a cruel immigration policy requiring asylum seekers to be returned to Mexico while awaiting adjudication of their cases in U.S. courts. The organization celebrates the ruling against the inhumane policy, known as “Remain in Mexico,” which led to violence against, sexual assault of, kidnappings of, and murders of men, women, and children seeking their legal right to pursue safety in the United States. All told, the cruel Trump-era program, continued by President Biden, impacted thousands of lives and separated loved ones only seeking to build lives peacefully as part of American communities.

“The Supreme Court made the right decision today; Remain in Mexico was not only illegal, it undermined the humanity of our asylum system. Under this cruel policy, people were forced to return to the very violence that drove them to flee their homes. It isn’t an easy choice for parents to leave all they’ve ever known to try and bring their children a brighter future, but under this program, their bravery was met with the indifference of a program that simultaneously minimized their fears and delivered them right back to them,” said Elissa Diaz, Associate Director of Policy and Advocacy at CWS. “This is a victory for those that believe in a just and humane immigration system, but the Biden administration must use this momentum to now end the policy once and for all and bring individuals and families subjected to the policy to safety. We urge the Biden administration and Congress to do everything in their power to also end Title 42 and other discriminatory policies that still prevent asylum seekers, particularly Black, Brown and Indigenous asylum seekers, from exercising their legal right to find safety in the United States. It is far past time for the United States to fiercely reject human suffering and instead, welcome people with dignity.”

Although the Biden administration tried to end the program, the termination was challenged in courts, leading to its continued use until today’s ruling. Under the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as “Remain in Mexico,” tens of thousands asylum seekers experienced violence and persecution upon their expulsion from the United States, either from the very danger they initially fled or from new threats along the border. In tandem with the administration’s continuation of Title 42 expulsions—which has been used to expel at least 8,000 Haitians since September—the U.S. immigration system is in turmoil. CWS applauds today’s decision and encourages President Biden to immediately end the Remain in Mexico policy, while also asking the administration to lead efforts with Congress to now end Title 42, an important step towards fully restoring asylum.

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