Today, the Biden administration issued a memo that attempts to end, for a second time, the Remain in Mexico policy, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols. The policy was implemented in 2019 and forced more than 70,000 individuals to wait in northern Mexico while their asylum cases proceeded in the United States. In June of 2021, the Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum terminating the Remain in Mexico policy, but in response to a lawsuit led by the state of Texas, a federal judge ordered the government to reimplement Remain in Mexico, even though thousands of people faced serious violence—including murder, rape, kidnapping, and violent assault—as a result of the policy.
“We appreciate the Biden administration’s acknowledgment that the Remain in Mexico policy subjected survivors of violence to kidnapping, rape, and other serious harm, and deprived them of access to counsel and due process protections,” said Richard Caldarone, Tahirih Litigation Counsel. “The administration must now take every possible step to ensure that no survivor is ever subjected to that cruel policy again. The administration must also end the Title 42 expulsion policy, which places survivors in exactly the same dangerous situations as the Remain in Mexico policy. Instead of continuing to subject survivors to violence and persecution in violation of international law, the administration must rebuild and reform our asylum system to ensure that all immigrant survivors of violence have a meaningful opportunity to seek protection in the United States.”
Thousands of immigrant survivors of violence were harmed under the policy, forcing them to live in dangerous conditions, with limited access to legal counsel and trauma-informed care. The Tahirih Justice Center is a plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging Remain in Mexico.
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