Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged President Biden in a letter 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.
The letter signed by eight U.S. senators and 23 U.S. representatives comes after the U.S. 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 again implement the MPP policy initiated by the previous Trump administration.
“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. “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.”
The lawmakers concluded the letter by urging President Biden to act quickly, re-terminate MPP and decline to re-implement any iteration of the dangerous policy. The lawmakers also applauded steps that the Biden administration has taken to safely process over 13,000 individuals previously subjected to MPP.
In addition to Wyden and Merkley, the letter led by U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) was signed by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), as well as U.S. Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.-44), Karen Bass (D-Calif.-37), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.-01), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.-16), Joaquin Castro (D-Texas-20), Lou Correa (D-Calif.-46), Jesús G. “Chuy” Garcia (D-Ill.-04), Sylvia R. Garcia (D-Texas-29), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.-03), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.-53), Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.-17), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.-02), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.-02), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn. -05), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.-02), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.-07), Albio Sires (D-N.J.-08), Norma Torres (D-Calif.-35), Ritchie Torres (D.N.Y.-15), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.-51), and Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.-07).
Full text of the letter is here.
A web version of this release is here.