SCOTUS “Remain in Mexico” Decision A Win, Now Administration Must Act to Save Lives and Restore Asylum System

This statement can be attributed to Indivar Dutta-Gupta, president and executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

Washington, D.C., June 30, 2022 – The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Biden v. Texas affirms that the Biden Administration can end the ill-advised Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” program (formally known as Migrant Protection Protocols). This decision, which does not automatically end the failed program, paves the way for the Biden Administration to uphold the right of asylum seekers to seek safe haven at our border—and in doing so, allows the United States to once again welcome people with dignity and due process rather than cruelty and confinement.

The continued efforts to block asylum at our border are based on misguided and racist ideals that have ultimately left asylum seekers stranded and desperate. Tens of thousands of asylum seekers—including infants, children, and families who are predominantly people of color—have been trapped in dangerous conditions in Mexico since the program was first implemented in 2019. They face rape, kidnapping, murder, and other atrocities as they wait. While we applaud this court decision, we also mourn the hundreds of human lives lost due to this and other policies like the needless expulsion of immigrants (Title 42 policy)—including the more than 50 lives lost in the San Antonio tragedy this past week.

We are grateful to all who have fought to make this critical decision possible, including those who continue to serve and protect asylum seekers along the border. We are committed to working alongside our partners to build a more humane and fair immigration system that benefits all our families and communities.

We urge the Biden Administration to swiftly complete the dismantling of the “Remain in Mexico” program as well as all other policies that jeopardize the safety and well-being of asylum seekers and undermine their legal rights under U.S. and international laws. Our country has the resources and our people have the compassion to welcome—with decency, support, and respect—those who have been waiting for years to plead their asylum case in the United States.