New ‘Remain in Mexico’ Termination Memo a Welcome Development, More Needed to Protect Asylum Seekers

29 October 2021

Related: Advocacy

Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas issued a new memo calling for the termination of a Trump-era policy, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). This harmful policy forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their protection claims to be processed, exposing them to dangerous and uncertain conditions. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA has long opposed this policy and welcomed today’s announcement. 

“This policy has caused incalculable harm to thousands of asylum seekers and functionally suspended the regular asylum process since it was first implemented in 2019,” said Giulia McPherson, Director of Advocacy and Operations at JRS/USA. “By issuing this new memo, the Biden Administration is taking an important next step in reversing an August court ruling that reinstated MPP after attempting to terminate the program earlier this year. We urge the Biden Administration to continue its efforts to terminate MPP and to take every action possible to oppose reinstatement of this harmful policy.”

Earlier this week, JRS/USA joined with other Jesuit partners working with migrants and asylum seekers in the U.S. and Mexico to speak out against this inhumane policy. And in a report released in 2020, JRS/USA discussed the impact of MPP on asylum seekers and featured testimonies from those affected by these policies, as well as recommendations to policymakers on how the U.S. should respond. More than 70,000 people enrolled in MPP faced violence and insecurity  in Mexico. Individuals and families still enrolled in the program should be processed out of MPP as soon as possible, their cases transferred to other dockets within the U.S. immigration court system, and be allowed to wait in safety in the United States.