Success: United States Can End Harmful “Remain in Mexico” Immigration Policy

Target: Joe R. Biden, President of the United States

Goal: Celebrate a victory against the policy that sent asylum seekers at the U.S.’s southern border back to Mexico as they underwent immigration proceedings.

In June 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled in favor of the Biden administration, clearing a path for the U.S. to end the Trump era “Remain in Mexico” policy.

The policy in question, formally called the Migrant Protection Protocols, was instituted in late 2018. It requires undocumented migrants at the southern border–even those who are seeking asylum–to be sent back to Mexico as they await their immigration hearings. The “Remain in Mexico” policy not only placed those seeking shelter and safety in the United States back towards the dangerous situations they fled, but it was also in sharp contrast to international laws allowing those seeking asylum to remain in their destination country while they undergo immigration proceedings.  This Force Change petition called on then President-elect Biden to reverse this discriminatory Trump era policy.

This SCOTUS ruling – hailed as a “victory for tens of thousands of people who were stranded by Remain in Mexico and subjected to unimaginable cruelty,” by Taylor Levy, an immigration attorney–specifies that current U.S. immigration law provides the federal government with the discretion to detain migrants or send them back to Mexico. The Trump administration had interpreted the law to mean the federal government was required to send migrants back, a complete break from the discretionary interpretation used by every administration before Trump.

According to CNN, “A hold on Biden’s bid to end the program remains in place, but Thursday’s ruling suggested that that order should be lifted shortly.” The case will return to the lower courts but following the SCOTUS ruling, which found those courts had erred when they blocked the administration’s move to end the program, it looks likely they will not have the authority to stop the program from ending. Sign below to celebrate this victory and to support the Biden administration’s continued efforts to end this harmful policy.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Biden,

The Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy left tens of thousands of migrants in great danger and often forced them to live in unsanitary conditions in Mexico while they awaited their immigration hearings. This practice not only put lives at risk, but it was a significant break from both international law and the interpretation of U.S. immigration law up until the Trump administration.

Your administration’s efforts to reverse this policy have finally paid off with a big victory. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled it is indeed up to the federal government to decide whether to send undocumented migrants–even those seeking asylum–back to Mexico as they await proceedings many can breathe more easily.

Thank you for your action to protect migrants and overturn this harmful policy.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Steve Hillebrand, USFWS


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