FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2022
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On June 29, the Supreme Court issued its decision on Biden v Texas, a case in which the state of Texas sued the Biden administration for attempting to end the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” program, which has seen over 70,000 people returned to Mexico to wait for their U.S. immigration court dates. The ruling found that the Biden administration does have the authority to end the “Remain in Mexico” program; it remains to be seen how swiftly the administration can now move to fully wind the program down.
According to Alianza Americas, a coalition of 58 migrant-led organizations in 18 states and its digital powerhouse Presente.org, while this is a welcome ruling and a hopeful moment, there are concerning, ongoing efforts in Congress and the judiciary to uphold other tenets of President Trump’s hateful migration policies. The same day as the “Remain in Mexico” ruling, the House Appropriations Committee may move to vote on an amendment that would keep the “Title 42” policy—which has essentially ended asylum for most people at the U.S.-Mexico border—in place indefinitely.
“This welcome ruling will not change reality overnight for the 70,000-plus asylum seekers forced to remain in Mexico border cities where they are not safe,” said Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas. “It does open the possibility for a more common-sense and humane approach to asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. Even with this Supreme Court decision, it doesn’t change the reality that we are seeing astonishing efforts in the courts and Congress to block broader progress towards more humane and sensible immigration policies.”
Since the Biden administration was forced to reimplement “Remain in Mexico” in November 2021, at least an additional 4,076 asylum seekers have been enrolled into the program, according to the latest Customs and Border Protection data.
“The fundamental aim of ‘Remain in Mexico’ was to punish asylum seekers for exercising their right to seek protection by making it too miserable and dangerous for them,” said Yanira Arias, national campaigns manager at Alianza Americas. “Making life miserable for asylum seekers does nothing to discourage families from fleeing, it only drives people to seek out human smugglers and to take evermore dangerous and desperate routes. As seen from the recent tragedy in San Antonio, Texas, so long as the U.S. government pushes migration policies centered around deterrence, people will die in extraordinary numbers.”
Multiple court interventions in states ranging from Texas to Arizona have kept the Biden administration from ending the Trump administration’s migration policies. The lawsuits, some of which have already worked their way through the Supreme Court, resulted in the continuation of “Remain in Mexico,” and Title 42, threats against DACA, and limited rights of people in immigration detention.
“Our federal court system is being used as a weapon to push an extremist agenda that goes against the will of the American majority,” said Nancy Treviño, associate director for network power at Alianza Americas. “We need a Supreme Court and a judiciary system able to wisely interpret and adapt constitutional rights and protections to ensure balance and integrity.”
Alianza Americas is the premier transnational advocacy network of Latin American migrant-led organizations working in the United States, across the Americas, and globally to create an inclusive, equitable and sustainable way of life for communities across North, Central and South America. Alianza’s digital organizing powerhouse is Presente.org.