AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Welcomes Termination Memo Intended to End the “Migrant Protection Protocols” Permanently

10/29/21 AILA Doc. No. 21102909. Admissions & Border, Asylum

Washington, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomed the Biden administration’s announcement that they have issued a memo which formally terminates the “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP) instituted by the Trump administration. As noted by Department of Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, MPP imposed “substantial and unjustifiable human costs on the individuals who were exposed to harm while waiting in Mexico.” While underlying litigation continues in the Fifth Circuit, AILA continues to urge the administration to move swiftly in blocking any near-future implementation of MPP.

AILA President Allen Orr stated, “We are heartened to see this formal termination of an illegal program that undermined our country’s asylum protections and harmed so many people. This memo is the second effort to end the program by the Biden administration and we expect this effort to stand up to judicial scrutiny. Frankly, the fact that a judge in Texas had forced the Biden administration to reengage this terrible program was alarming given clear Constitutional authority by the executive branch to end such a program. May this be the beginning of the final end to this despicable program undermining U.S. asylum law.”

AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson added, “AILA and our members have fought this policy from Day One and I will be glad to see it relegated to the ash heap of history as it should have been years ago. The Trump administration illegally and immorally locked asylum seekers out of the country entirely. Forcing vulnerable asylum seekers to experience homelessness and unstable living conditions in the border cities of Mexico that our own State Department warns against travel made them far more susceptible to further victimization. Asylum seekers were blocked from accessing legal help and faced insurmountable challenges to obtaining and submitting documentation to prove their cases. The Biden administration should also end the use of Title 42 immediately and stop expelling people under a public health law weaponized against immigrants by the Trump administration as well.”