A coalition of more than 90 Catholic groups that support, protect, and advocate for refugees is calling on U.S. President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, both themselves Catholics, to end the “Migrant Protection Protocols,” (MPP) a cruel and illegal Trump-era policy that was restarted this week, forcing people seeking safety to wait for their immigration hearings in Mexico.
In an open letter, the groups, which include Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) and Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, expressed deep concern at the continuation and expansion of the MPP program, writing, “It is shocking that the U.S has decided to move forward with reimplementation of MPP and expand it to countries such as Haiti. The consequences this policy has on the safety, dignity, and rights of asylum-seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border are immense and devastating.”
The groups cited Pope Francis’ recent message for the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees before urging the United States, “to end this deadly policy as quickly as possible and to put forth a plan for accountability, including any and all steps necessary to ensure that MPP, or anything like it, never happens again.”
The groups also called on the Mexican government to join their efforts to persuade the Biden administration in pushing for an end to MPP, noting that the administration’s recent decision to lift travel restrictions calls the continuation of the deadly policy further into question.
“Instead of turning asylum-seekers away, and perhaps sending them to their death,” the letter argues, “the U.S. should offer COVID-19 vaccines for those who have been unable to access them in countries of origin and allow their asylum cases to proceed.”
The letter, which was sent to President Biden and President Obrador today, is available in full with a complete list of signers here above.