WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement on the announcement that the Biden Administration will restart the “Remain in Mexico” program, the policy also known as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) that was created by the Trump Administration:
“MPP is an inherently cruel policy that puts people seeking protection at our border in dangerous, and often deadly, situations. That was true when the program was first established by President Trump, and it is true today, as it will now be restarted by President Biden.
“There have been and continue to be many actors and steps that led to today’s deeply disappointing decisions.
“The court order forcing the reimplementation of MPP was outrageous.
“The Biden Administration was right—morally and legally—to initially terminate this program. But we continue to denounce the lack of speed and forcefulness with which this Administration has worked to follow through on its termination—notably the delay in issuing a termination memo and failure to bring all urgency to the legal fight against this unjust order. It is a terrible mistake—one entirely beyond the constraints of the court order—that the Administration has chosen to expand the populations subjected to the violent program.
“We must be clear-eyed about the consequences of this policy being restarted: the United States Government cannot ensure access to counsel as they have suggested, and should not pretend they can guarantee the safety of people they are intentionally subjecting to violence and trauma in Mexico. The Administration should at least be straightforward about this reality
“Border and migration policies that rely on using cruelty as a deterrence will never achieve long-term safety and security for our families and communities. They didn’t under President Trump, and they haven’t under President Biden. We believe that the Biden Administration must reject cruel and ineffective deterrence policies because of the devastating human consequences and because they are ineffective. Working to repeal MPP is part of this, but it also means they must end Title 42, immediately stop the deportation of Haitian asylum seekers, and halt their use of all policies which strand vulnerable people in Mexico, Central America, and beyond.
“Deterrent-first policies are failing—and they will continue to fail. They have produced neither a humane nor orderly situation at the border—and they will continue to fail on these grounds until the Administration builds working avenues for people to come legally, be it work, to reunite with family, or to seek refuge from violence and persecution.”
For those looking to learn more about why a deterrence-first approach that pushes immigration enforcement back from America’s physical borders is the wrong approach, we encourage you to read our recent joint report with NIJC, Pushing Back Protection: How Offshoring and Externalization Imperil the Right to Asylum.