In January 2019, the Department of Homeland Security issued new policy guidance called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), widely known as the Remain in Mexico program. Since the implementation of the program, more than 56,000 migrants have been sent back to Mexico. January 25, 2020 marks the one-year anniversary of this program.
Under the Remain in Mexico policy, certain asylum seekers, including families, are sent back to Mexico to wait throughout the duration of their immigration court proceedings in the U.S, which could take months, during which people are living in dangerous and inadequate conditions. During this time, many asylum seekers report facing violence, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault in Mexico.
As people of faith, we affirm the inherent dignity of every person and the ability of families to seek security and safety for themselves and family members. For this reason, the Ignatian Solidarity Network joins the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (including bishops on the U.S.-Mexico border) in opposing the Remain in Mexico policy and ask that the Department of Homeland Security act now to revoke the policy and provide immediate protection and the authorization to remain in the United States to asylum seekers while they apply for adjudication of their asylum claims.
This January is the one-year anniversary of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), or “Remain in Mexico,” policy. In the past year, 56,000 migrants have been sent back to Mexico to await their asylum case.
As a person of faith, I believe in protecting the God-given dignity of every human being, including those seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. It is not a crime to seek asylum.
Consequently, I urge you to discontinue the expansion of this program and to revoke the existing “Remain in Mexico” policy—to permit asylum seekers presenting themselves at the U.S.-Mexico border with the opportunity to wait in the United States for the adjudication of their asylum claims.
As you work towards rescinding the “Remain in Mexico” policy, please also remember that all families, including families seeking asylum, deserve to have the opportunity to stay and grow together.
I join with fellow members of the Ignatian Solidarity Network, a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice for Immigrants Campaign, in asking that you act in the spirit of human dignity and revoke the “Remain in Mexico” policy without delay.