LOS ANGELES -- The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), the largest immigrant rights organization in California, condemns the Biden administration's decision to restart the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, commonly known as Remain-in-Mexico, that has stranded thousands of immigrants since 2019.
During the 2020 election, Biden promised to end this Trump administration holdover that sent 70,000 migrants back to Mexico before the pandemic forced its suspension. We were encouraged when the new administration ended the program, and we were further encouraged when it vowed to fight a Texas federal judge's ruling to reinstate MPP.
That is why CHIRLA is now at a loss to understand the rationale behind restarting and expanding the program to apply to asylum seekers from across the Western Hemisphere, when in October the Biden administration issued a new order to terminate the program.
Haitian migrants especially suffer under this new interpretation, coupled with the continuing, discredited Title 42 program that bans them from entering the country to apply for asylum because of COVID-19, even though public health experts, including former senior CDC officials, testified there is zero public health rationale for it.
Please attribute the following statements to Angelica Salas, CHIRLA executive director:
"By not only reimplementing but expanding MPP, the Biden administration is breaking its campaign promise to end this inhumane program.
"The administration's insistence on including all nationalities in the Western Hemisphere, including the tens of thousands of Haitians fleeing a collapsed home country as well as extreme racism in other parts of Latin America, goes beyond the Texas court's order to reimplement MPP 'in good faith'.
"This program simply does not respect due process, access to counsel, and the basic bodily safety of asylum-seekers stranded in extremely dangerous parts of Mexico. As DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has said, MPP's flaws are endemic and unfixable. The Biden administration will no longer be able to call the MPP a Trump policy. It is now a Biden policy, and a deadly and heartbreaking one at that."