Immigration Equality Welcomes Supreme Court Ruling Allowing Biden Administration to End Remain in Mexico
New York, NY (July 1, 2022) — Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Biden v. Texas that the Biden administration has the authority to end the Migrant Protection Protocols, more familiarly known as “Remain in Mexico.” Since 2019, the policy has required asylum seekers, including LGBTQ people fleeing persecution, to wait in Mexico until their hearing date, subjecting them to life-threatening conditions for months or years.
Immigration Equality’s Legal Director, Bridget Crawford, issued the following statement:
“We welcome the Supreme Court’s ruling, which allows the Biden administration to finally end Remain in Mexico—an illegal, cruel policy that has caused countless human rights violations. The decision makes way for thousands of asylum seekers waiting in dangerous conditions to safely pursue their claims. It is critical that the Biden administration take action to end the policy immediately.
“Every day Remain in Mexico is in place, asylum seekers face the threat of robbery, kidnapping, rape, and murder. Thousands wait in refugee camps on our doorstep, vulnerable to abuse from the police and cartels. And few can access counsel, resulting in meritorious asylum cases being denied. Terminating the policy is a first step towards restoring our asylum system, but the United States must also immediately end mass expulsions under Title 42.
“Under the current Title 42 policy, asylum seekers are denied due process, cannot request asylum at all, and never get their day in court. Instead of finding safe haven in the U.S., LGBTQ asylum seekers with meritorious claims are subjected to even more violence. The sham public health policy commandeered by the Trump administration to shut down the border has not made anyone safer. Since its inception, Title 42 has been used close to two million times by both the Trump and Biden administrations to expel migrants and asylum seekers.
“We condemn Congressional efforts to extend the Title 42 expulsion policy for any length of time. The current push to extend it for two months beyond its termination date means it could be years before the policy ends. Such an action would signify an appalling disregard for the human rights of asylum seekers—resulting in more kidnapping, assaults, and deaths at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We know that when asylum seekers in danger cannot enter the U.S. safely, many will attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border at great risk to their health and lives. Indeed, it is beyond devastating that more than 50 migrants died from heatstroke in the back of a tractor-trailer discovered this week in San Antonio. It is also tragic that this horrific loss of life would likely have been avoided if the U.S. had just and humane immigration policies in place.
“Policies like Remain in Mexico and the use of Title 42 to expel asylum seekers go against what Americans have stood for throughout our nation’s history: creating a safe and prosperous future for people who escape persecution.”