The Very Human Toll of “Remaining in Mexico”

The U.S. Supreme Court forces the Biden administration to revive the Migrant Protection Protocol, aka “Remain in Mexico” policy. Alba Jaramillo, advocacy consultant for National JFON and executive director for Arizona Justice for Our Neighbors responds:

When I think about the harm that non-Mexican asylum seekers face in Mexico while waiting for the opportunity to enter the United States, I remember our Black Cuban asylum-seeking client and the terror she experienced when armed criminals attempted to kidnap her son. I think about our Venezuelan client who was extorted and assaulted by cartel members in Sonora. I remember a Guatemalan family who was kidnapped by a gang while one of their family members was dealing with terminal cancer.

The reinstatement of MPP (“Remain in Mexico”) is cruel, inhumane, and will result in further persecution of migrants whose lives are already in danger.

In reinstating MPP, the Supreme Court has shown its indifference for the safety of asylum seekers who are fleeing persecution and are easy targets for organized crime in Mexico. When the United States creates a policy that further endangers the lives of vulnerable migrants and denies them their right to due process, it is the ultimate display of white supremacy.

Arizona JFON, in partnership with the JFON network, is proud to provide legal consultations for vulnerable asylum seekers in the Sonoran border region to help them navigate the U.S. asylum process. But we know that the majority of asylum seekers will never have an opportunity to meet with legal counsel while in Mexico. Fewer still will be able to find full representation for the entirety of their asylum case—which takes years—once they reach their destination in the United States.

By this ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it far more difficult, if not impossible, for asylum seekers to access safety, shelter, or any system of justice.

Our hearts ache for the men, women, and children in danger on the other side of the border. We demand the Biden Administration take immediate steps to remedy this disgraceful practice, which strips asylum seekers of their dignity and will cause unnecessary human suffering and death.


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Immigration Issues