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Press Release // Immigration and Asylum

Statement: Biden Administration Ends “Remain in Mexico” Policy

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Global Refuge Staff

June 1, 2021

Contact: Timothy Young | timothy.young@globalrefuge.org | 443-257-6310

Washington D.C. – The United States has formally ended the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, which forced tens of thousands of Central American asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. court cases, according to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo sent to agency leaders on Tuesday.

Shortly after taking office, President Biden paused the program, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Since then, more than 11,000 migrants enrolled in it have been allowed to enter the United States to pursue asylum claims.

The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Global Refuge, the nation’s largest faith-based nonprofit dedicated exclusively to serving refugees, asylum seekers, and vulnerable immigrant communities in the U.S.:

“The decision is a monumental step forward in erasing the stain of this immoral policy and recommitting the U.S. to global humanitarian leadership. Approximately 70,000 asylum seekers were cruelly forced to wait in dangerous conditions for their chance at protection, oftentimes for years on end. Migrant families and children have been exploited, kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered as a direct result of this shameful, inhumane policy.  

We commend the Biden administration for beginning the hard but necessary work of restoring our moral obligation to the most vulnerable. It is notable that the administration has recognized deliberate deterrence policies for what they are – as cruel as they are ineffective. Reimagining and implementing a fair, humane, and functional immigration system requires that ‘Remain in Mexico’ remain in the dustbin of U.S. history.”

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