WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley joined Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer, (D-NY), Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) today in demanding the public release of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report that details the flaws and dangerous consequences of the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), also known as the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program.
Following the release of Senator Merkley’s sweeping investigative report, which includes whistleblower concerns that MPP is both illegal and immoral, and months of immigrant advocates sounding the alarm over the program’s cruelty, BuzzFeed News reported that DHS conducted its own audit of MPP that confirmed many of the criticisms leveled by lawyers and advocates.
“MPP has transformed the asylum process at our southern border since it was implemented just 11 months ago,” the Senators wrote. “Releasing this report will help Congress and the American public better understand how this relatively new program has changed procedures and logistics for asylum seekers attempting to navigate the immigration court system.”
Since MPP was enacted 11 months ago, more than 50,000 asylum seekers have been forced to await their immigration court proceedings in Mexico—an order that has put tens of thousands of people, including families and young children, at grave risk. According to a whistleblower cited in Merkley’s report, the program was plainly “illegal,” and “is clearly designed to further this administration’s racist agenda of keeping Hispanic and Latino populations from entering the United States.”
The full text of the letter is available here and is included below.
Dear Acting Secretary Wolf,
We write to request the release of the Department of Homeland Security’s “Red Team” report prepared under the direction of former Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan. We understand from press accounts that this report evaluates the efficacy of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and recommends several policy changes to improve the MPP program for people seeking asylum in the United States.
MPP has transformed the asylum process at our southern border since it was implemented just 11 months ago. Releasing this report will help Congress and the American public better understand how this relatively new program has changed procedures and logistics for asylum seekers attempting to navigate the immigration court system.
Since this report is already in a format ready for release, we request that you make it public no later than November 30, 2019.