Democratic and independent senators pen letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary McAleenan...

Democratic and independent senators pen letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary McAleenan and Pompeo to end the Remain in Mexico policy

Border marker at San Ysidro, Calif., on the U.S.-Mexico border (Customs and Border Protection photo)


CAPITOL HILL – Two dozen Democratic and independent senators wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan on Tuesday asking the Trump administration to end its policy forcing asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico while the United States processes their claims. They question the legality and efficacy of the procedure, called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the Remain in Mexico policy.

The letter begins, “We call on the Trump Administration to end its Remain in Mexico policy, deceptively named the Migrant Protection Protocols, which the administration uses to forcibly send tens of thousands of asylum seekers to Mexico to wait for immigration court hearings in the United States. Not only does this policy do nothing to protect either migrants or U.S. interests, but we have grave concerns about its legality, recent efforts to expand it, and the dangerous conditions it forces asylum seekers to endure while waiting for their cases to be heard.”

The letter continues, “Under the Remain in Mexico policy, the United xStates has turned its back on its domestic and international legal obligations by forcing men, women, and children to await resolution of their U.S. asylum cases in parts of Mexico plagued by violence. While in Mexico, these asylum seekers have limited access to lawyers and shelter, which makes it nearly impossible for them to prepare their cases and effectively denies them meaningful access to the U.S. asylum system.”

They conclude, “The growing body of evidence that migrants fleeing persecution face abuse or even death, along with the fact that the Remain in Mexico policy flouts our legal obligation to asylum seekers, underscores why we demand an end to this dangerous policy.” They demand, “It is imperative that the United States end this reckless course of action and reaffirm its commitment to the principles of due process on which this country was founded.”

Doug Christian, Capitol Hill

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