Go to Press Releases library
Press Releases

Women’s Refugee Commission Calls for the End of “Remain in Mexico,” Not Its Restart

Washington, D.C. — The Biden administration announced today it will begin returning people seeking asylum to Mexico next month under the misnamed Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico.”

In August, a Texas district court ordered the Biden administration to reinstate MPP “in good faith.” The administration is appealing that decision and has shared its intent to re-terminate MPP but has yet to do so in the nearly two months that have passed since the decision from the Texas court.

Previously under MPP, more than 70,000 people seeking protection were sent back to dangerous, squalid conditions in Mexico to await their U.S. immigration court hearings. There have been more than 1,500 publicly documented cases of violent attacks, including kidnapping, extortion, rape, assault, and torture committed against individuals subjected to MPP.

In response to today’s announcement, Ursela Ojeda, senior policy advisor of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, issued the following statement:

“The Biden administration knows that there is no safe, humane, or lawful way to implement MPP or any similar policy. President Biden himself said policies that require people to wait in Mexico create ‘a horrifying ecosystem of violence and exploitation, with cartels kidnapping, violently assaulting, and extorting migrants.’

“The Women’s Refugee Commission is horrified that this administration is nonetheless choosing to implement a policy that does exactly that. It is shameful and unacceptable for the administration to continue to delay issuing a new termination memo and to use the court order as an excuse to implement a new version of this awful and dangerous policy.

“No policy that sends people back to kidnapping, violence, and death can ever be called humane. We call on the Biden administration to stop delaying and immediately issue a new memorandum terminating MPP. The administration’s failure to do so will unquestionably and needlessly place the lives of innocent people in harm’s way.

“The Biden administration promised it would do better than the cruel and unjust policies of its predecessor. Yet, nearly ten months into this administration, President Biden’s border policies perpetuate harm and injustice on those lawfully seeking protection in the United States. Policies like MPP and expulsions under Title 42 are, by design, racist and xenophobic and are fundamentally incompatible with due process and dignity.

“MPP must not restart. Expulsions of families and adults under Title 42 must end. And more broadly, the administration must actually restart asylum processing, including at ports of entry, and create a process that upholds our laws and our values, and welcomes with dignity. We won’t accept anything less.”


Learn more about WRC’s work on asylum, legal, and human rights.