AILA Public Statements, Press Releases, Advocacy & Media

AILA Deeply Disappointed in Even Temporary Resurrection of MPP

12/2/21 AILA Doc. No. 2112281. Admissions & Border, Asylum
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Washington, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is deeply disappointed that politically motivated Attorneys General of Missouri and Texas have managed to temporarily resurrect the inhumane “Migrant Protection Protocols” known as Remain in Mexico.

AILA President Allen Orr stated, “The Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has publicly acknowledged that Remain in Mexico caused ‘substantial and unjustifiable human costs on the individuals who were exposed to harm while waiting in Mexico.’ Despite that admission, these attorneys general are using litigation tactics to undermine U.S. asylum laws and traumatize vulnerable migrants. People subjected to MPP are trapped in dangerous, life-threatening conditions and have almost no way to get humanitarian assistance or help from an attorney. These changes cannot redeem what is a fundamentally and structurally flawed program. Further, broadening Remain in Mexico to now encompass foreign nationals from any country in the Western Hemisphere once again puts Haitians and other Black and brown asylum seekers’ due process rights under assault. Honestly the only way to improve upon MPP is to get rid of it.”

AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson added, “The Remain in Mexico policy initiated by the Trump administration has led to the deaths and assaults of migrants as they were forced to stay in Mexico. There is no dispute that the program violates America’s asylum laws which require the U.S. government to provide asylum seekers with a meaningful chance to claim protection. There is simply no way, despite the administration’s attempts, to make Remain in Mexico kinder and gentler. The fact remains the program’s purpose is impossible to rework to meet our country’s legal and moral commitments to protect those fleeing persecution. AILA and our members will continue to fight this program and continue to urge the administration to end the use of the public health law Title 42 to expel asylum seekers without due process as well. Together, Title 42 and MPP cruelly work to simply keep people seeking protection out.”