Escobar and Menendez Lead Bicameral Letter Urging President Biden to Take All Necessary Legal Steps to Terminate Remain in Mexico Policy
"It is abundantly clear that the United States cannot safely reinstate MPP and that any attempt to return people seeking safety to harm in Mexico will violate U.S. and international legal obligations to refugees.”
El Paso, TX, September 9, 2021
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) sent a letter with a bicameral group of lawmakers to President Biden urging him to take all necessary legal steps to terminate the Remain in Mexico policy – or the perversely named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) – that placed tens of thousands of asylum seekers and migrants in danger.
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) announced that they led a bicameral group of lawmakers in sending a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to take all necessary legal steps to terminate the deadly Remain in Mexico policy – or the perversely named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) – that placed tens of thousands of asylum seekers and migrants in danger.
The letter, which was co-signed by 22 U.S. Representatives and seven U.S. Senators, comes after the Supreme Court denied the Biden administration’s request for an emergency stay in Biden v. Texas, a decision from the Texas district court forcing the government to reimplement MPP.
“MPP does not represent our values as a country and should be permanently discarded along with the many other unlawful Trump administration policies designed to punish and deter refugees from seeking safety. The court orders leave ample room for your administration to ensure MPP never again puts another person in harm’s way,” the lawmakers wrote to President Biden.
The lawmakers added, “The horrors of MPP are well-documented. During its implementation from January 2019 to early 2021, non-profit groups tracked over 1,500 public reports of rape, kidnapping, torture, trafficking, and other crimes carried out against asylum seekers and migrants sent back to Mexico under the policy. Since you took office and continued the Trump administration’s unlawful Title 42 policy, which also forcibly returns people to harm in Mexico, there have been another 6,356 reports of violent attacks against migrants expelled or blocked in Mexico.”
They concluded the letter by urging President Biden to act quickly to re-terminate MPP and to decline to reimplement any iteration of the dangerous policy.
Finally, the lawmakers applauded the steps that the Biden administration has taken to safely process over 13,000 individuals who were previously subjected to MPP and stated the horrors of this policy cannot fully end until all who were subjected to it are given a fair chance to apply for refugee protection in the safety of the United States.
The letter was also co-signed by U.S. Representatives Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Karen Bass (CA-37), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Lou Correa (CA-46), Jesús G. “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04), Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Norma Torres (CA-35), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Juan Vargas (CA-51), and Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07) and U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
Full text of the letter can be found here.