WASHINGTON, DC – Human Rights First applauds last night’s announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that it will take quick and orderly steps to end the court-ordered reimplementation of Remain in Mexico. The move follows the lifting of a district court order yesterday evening that had enjoined the policy’s termination.
“The Department of Homeland Security is rightly taking steps to quickly end this fatally flawed policy,” said Eleanor Acer, senior director for refugee protection at Human Rights First. “From its inception, Remain in Mexico has inflicted suffering on people seeking asylum, impeded legal representation, and wasted government resources. Any attempt to force the continuation of this failed policy must be rejected for what it is: irresponsible political theater that endangers human lives.”
Human Rights First looks forward to learning more about DHS’s plans to wind down Remain in Mexico and reiterates the recent recommendations provided by humanitarian, human rights, and legal organizations to the administration.
Human Rights First has documented the harms inflicted by Remain in Mexico from its initial rollout and through its forced continuation, and tracked over 1,500 murders, kidnappings, and other attacks on people subjected to Remain in Mexico under the Trump administration. DHS cited this research in its memorandum directing retermination of the policy. Human Rights First also joined an amicus brief to the Supreme Court that drew on this research.
DHS returned more than 6,000 people to Mexico under the second iteration of this policy. As of mid-June 2022, according to government data, more than 76 percent of individuals enrolled in the reimplemented Remain in Mexico policy, and forced to wait in danger in Mexico, were from Cuba, Nicaragua, or Venezuela.