Court of Appeals Ruling Guts Flawed Remain in Mexico Policy

February 28, 2020

Washington, DC – Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) applauds two critical United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rulings issued today that invalidate two of the most blatantly unlawful efforts by the Trump Administration to deny access to the U.S. asylum system to people fleeing danger. The Ninth Circuit held that the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as Remain in Mexico, violate U.S. immigration laws and the nation’s international treaty obligations. MPP forces asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases proceed in the United States. The court also continued an injunction against an effort to deem migrants who came to the United States between ports of entry ineligible for asylum.

“The Court of Appeals ruling upholds the long-held laws and values of our great nation by continuing to allow asylum seekers to enter the United States while their cases proceed through our immigration system. MPP forced tens of thousands of people, including children, to wait in life-threatening conditions in Mexico for months or years while their cases for protection are evaluated,” said KIND President Wendy Young. “Today’s ruling are a win for the protection of the most vulnerable, particularly children, and represent a strong rebuke to one of this Administration’s most egregious, cruel, and dangerous immigration policies.”

More than 59,000 asylum seekers – including more than 16,000 children –have been returned to Mexico since the implementation of the MPP in 2019. They have faced dangerous conditions with little or no protection.  Over 300 children who were returned to border areas in Mexico with their families were reportedly later forced to flee to the United States again – alone – because their parents disappeared or greatly feared for their children’s lives.

“KIND is working with a number of children who, after they were returned to Mexico with their families, were forced to return to the United States alone because their parents had disappeared amid violence and threats,” Young said. “We are heartened by today’s ruling and expect that the government will implement it by bringing MPP to a halt immediately, before more families are separated and subjected to abduction, robbery, and murder in the unsafe conditions along the border.”

To learn more about MPP, see KIND’s resource “Remain in Mexico: Unlawful and Unsafe for Children

Or, our statement:

To speak with Wendy Young or learn more about KIND’s work, contact Megan McKenna at MMCKENNA@SUPPORTKIND.ORG or 202-631-9990.