Statement on Supreme Court Decision to Allow the “Remain In Mexico” Policy

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Today, the Supreme Court ruled to allow the Trump Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), or the “Remain in Mexico” policy, to continue while lower-court appeals continue. Under MPP, asylum seekers are forced to wait in Mexico for a court date in the United States — a process that can take up to a year.

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals briefly halted the program, saying that it violated federal immigration law and posed a significant risk to asylum seekers. HIAS is saddened by the Supreme Court's decision to allow MPP to continue despite the clear danger it poses to thousands of vulnerable people at our southern border.

Under U.S. law, people who arrive at our borders have the right to seek asylum and are permitted to remain in the United States while their claims are processed. Since its implementation last year, the Remain in Mexico program has denied entry to the United States for nearly 60,000 men, women, and children, blocking them from access to legal representation and basic safety.

In response to the Supreme Court decision, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at HIAS, Melanie Nezer, said, “There is no reason why the United States cannot humanely, responsibly, and efficiently process the claims of people seeking asylum in our country. The administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols and other policies unnecessarily and arbitrarily place people directly in harm’s way and illegally block them from exercising their fundamental right to seek asylum in the United States.”

Despite this decision, the future of MPP remains uncertain as the lower courts review this rapidly changing policy. HIAS is committed to continuing our work to support asylum seekers in MPP on both sides of the border through offering legal services and asylum application support. Since January 2019, HIAS has screened nearly 850 asylum seekers in Mexico, referring 80 individuals for legal representation with our partners in El Paso, and assisting over 100 asylum seekers in preparing their applications for asylum in the United States while waiting in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.


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