Press Statement: End Border Policies with Brutal Impact on LGBTQ Asylum Seekers

New York, NY (December 7, 2021) — On Thursday, the Biden administration announced that it would reinstitute the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), more familiarly known as “Remain in Mexico,” starting this week. At the same time, the Biden administration continues to use public health laws to expel asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border under Title 42.

Immigration Equality’s Executive Director, Aaron C. Morris, issued the following statement:

“The Trump administration’s MPP policy was illegal when it was announced and has had a brutal impact on LGBTQ and HIV-positive asylum seekers at the southern border. Many individuals have been robbed, kidnapped, raped, and even murdered while being forced to wait for their asylum hearings in Mexico.

“Our own DHS Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, pushed to end MPP twice this year. He questioned whether MPP allows asylum seekers an adequate opportunity to present their claims for relief and stressed how terrible living conditions are in Mexico. He even said that ‘individuals awaiting their court hearings under MPP were subject to extreme violence and insecurity at the hands of transnational criminal organizations that profited by exploiting migrants’ vulnerabilities.’

“While the Biden administration has been compelled by court order to temporarily restart MPP, it has no such obligation to continue to abuse Title 42. Blocking refugees from entering into the U.S. under a pretext of protecting public health is an absolute abomination. It goes against what Americans have stood for throughout our nation’s history: creating a safe and prosperous future for people who escape persecution.

“These programs severely compromise the health and safety of asylum seekers, and seriously undermine their right to due process. We demand that the Biden administration immediately stop expelling LGBTQ and HIV-positive asylum seekers under Title 42, and end MPP as soon as possible.”

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