It is critical that we mark the second anniversary of the “Remain in Mexico” program (MPP) – a cruel Trump-era policy. The Remain in Mexico program forced tens of thousands of migrants and children fleeing violence and persecution to wait in Mexico for a chance to seek asylum in the United States. This program continues to separate families at the border as asylum seekers remain stuck in horrible conditions and freezing temperatures in Mexico feet away from the United States.

The Biden Administration must follow through on its commitment to fully end MPP, to rebuild the asylum system, safely and humanely process asylum seekers at the border and establish new avenues for migrants to apply for humanitarian relief closer to their homes.These steps will not only repeal the chaos and confusion of the Trump Administration, but will help to build a fair and orderly system that allows future migrants to be welcomed with dignity. The Biden Administration can take these steps while ensuring that all appropriate health and safety measures are taken to prevent the additional spread of COVID-19, and must open all ports of entry and urgently speed up processing for the thousands of people still waiting at the border. 

We must restore dignity for our families at the border by rebuilding the asylum system as part of our broader immigration system. This includes rebuilding humane processing of people seeking asylum at our border and providing new avenues for people seeking humanitarian relief to be able to apply for protection closer to their homes, which will help keep families together and ensure a fair and orderly process for asylum seekers. We can have a system that actually works and focuses on keeping families together, while prioritizing immigrants’ dignity to work, live, and establish the U.S. as their home.