President Biden Continues His Assault on Asylum With Reinstatement of MPP

Last Friday, the Biden administration announced it would reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) by mid-November. Enacted by President Trump, the policy forced tens of thousands of people seeking asylum to remain in Mexico while their cases were processed, exposing them to the same violence, persecution, and exploitation they sought to escape. The Biden administration ended the policy in January, but in August, a Texas district court enjoined the program’s termination and ruled a prior U.S. Department of Homeland Security policy memorandum did not sufficiently consider the supposed benefits of expelling people with asylum claims to await case processing in border communities in Northern Mexico. Despite having months to write a new memo ending the policy, the administration instead claims the court ruling has forced it to reinstate the policy “in good faith.”

Kica Matos, vice president of strategic initiatives, issued the following statement:

“The failure of the Biden administration to end MPP has perpetuated an assault on asylum. Only a few weeks ago, we watched the administration drag scores of Black migrants onto planes and deport them back into harm’s way. And since the summer ended, thousands of other families seeking asylum are being rushed through court hearings in cities the administration has targeted across the country to face deportation proceedings without a lawyer, all but guaranteeing thousands more families will be deported soon. Yet despite these actions, we are to believe that the Biden administration did everything it could to end the immoral and illegal remain in Mexico program? Enough is enough. If the President really cares about immigrants and their safety, he must put an end to Trump-era policies that rob people of access to a fair process in immigration court and instead guarantee everyone legal counsel and freedom from detention so they have the wherewithal to navigate our complex immigration laws. Only then will immigrant communities be confident that the Biden-Harris administration is turning the page on the punitive, xenophobic, and nativist policies that typified the prior administration.”

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