FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2021
“THERE IS NO WAY TO MAKE AN INHERENTLY INHUMANE PROGRAM HUMANE”: IRAP STRONGLY OPPOSES RE-IMPLEMENTATION OF REMAIN IN MEXICO PROGRAM
(New York, NY) – Today, the Biden administration announced its intention to imminently restart the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the Remain in Mexico program, despite stating in an October 2021 memo terminating the program that there are “inherent problems with the program that no amount of resources can sufficiently fix.” During the first iteration of the program, more than 1,500 migrants were subjected to violent attacks including murder, rape, torture, and kidnapping as they were forced to wait in Mexico while their cases were pending with U.S. immigration court. Despite admitting the cruelty of MPP, the administration claims that they cannot terminate the program until a court-ordered injunction is lifted.
The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) has opposed MPP since the program was first implemented by the Trump administration, even filing an amicus brief with the Mexican Supreme Court in October 2021 as part of parallel legal efforts in the U.S. and Mexico to end the policy once and for all.
IRAP U.S. Southern Border Project Director, Jennifer Babaie, responded to the announcement:
“MPP and similar policies like Title 42 cannot be allowed to become the new normal. It is unacceptable that nearly a year into President Biden’s presidency, his administration is enforcing multiple Trump-era policies known for their abject cruelty. The first iteration of MPP directly placed thousands of migrants in harm’s way, making them vulnerable to kidnapping, extortion, and assault while denying them their right to seek safety in the United States. Any new version of the program will do the same. There is no way to make an inherently inhumane program humane, and yet the administration is going beyond what is legally required to re-implement MPP. Instead, the administration must make every effort to undo the damage caused by these policies and restore full access to asylum at the border.”