Following the conservative justices’ ruling earlier this month, advocates called on the Biden administration to again attempt to end Remain in Mexico. The previous administration implemented the policy as a way to stomp on the asylum rights of vulnerable people, and nothing else. Sister Pimentel told Border Report that “[a]ny laws and policies that contribute to human suffering is not a good policy and it needs to be revisited and reconsidered.”
“Because my experience from MPP, all I was saw was a lot of human suffering on the other side of the border,” she continued in the report. “People were exposed to so much suffering. It’s not fair. It’s not correct. It’s not morally correct. And so I’m concerned for families. I’m concerned for people who will be sent back to wait in Mexico for their asylum hearings as it was previously. It is wrong.”
And so very dangerous. Human Rights First said in a recently released report that the organization have tracked more than 6,300 instances of violence against asylum-seekers and other migrants deported since January. LGBTQ and Black asylum-seekers in particular have suffered harm, with the group noting that “nearly 20% of Haitian asylum seekers in the northern Mexican border region were victims of abuse by the police, including beatings, extortion, and threats.”
“A Cameroonian asylum seeker, who was kidnapped in Cancun, beaten, and nearly raped by her abductors, is currently stranded in Reynosa,” the organization said in the report. “Because of the Biden administration’s expulsion policy, she is blocked from seeking asylum at the Hidalgo port of entry.” In a second example, “[a] gay Haitian asylum seeker was assaulted and extorted in Tijuana while waiting for the opportunity to request U.S. asylum. The man became severely depressed and attempted suicide in July 2021. As of mid-August 2021, he remains in danger in Tijuana.”
A reinstatement of Remain in Mexico will send more vulnerable people back to this violence. That’s no matter how “humanely” we’re told the policy is being reinstated, because it’s simply just not a humane program.
“We must have a more humane, more respectful policy to human life than MPP,” Sister Pimentel continued to Border Report. She warned that the people who will be paying the price of policies like Remain in Mexico are those who are already most vulnerable. “And so I am hopeful that it is reconsidered and that it doesn’t move forward because ultimately the ones that pay for our policy that are not considerate of the dignity of the person is the families themselves.”