The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last night that the Biden administration must restart the so-called “Migrant Protection Protocols,” which forced tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to dangerous cities along the U.S.-Mexico border during the pendency of their U.S. immigration proceedings.
The Biden administration suspended the MPP in January 2021 and ended it in June. The Supreme Court action allows a lower court order to take effect, and requires the government to make good faith efforts to restart the MPP while litigation continues. The decision comes in a case brought by Texas and Missouri that seeks to reverse the Biden administration’s decision to end the MPP.
The ACLU of Massachusetts challenged the MPP on behalf of six families in a lawsuit filed in March 2020. Before the federal court granted preliminary relief ordering the government to allow the seven asylum-seekers to enter the U.S., the ACLU of Massachusetts’ clients—which included small children—were stranded in Mexico for between seven and 17 months, experiencing hunger, homelessness, and violence. The ACLU of Massachusetts’ case is currently pending before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, where the Biden administration continues to seek to vacate the ruling that bars ACLU clients from being returned to Mexico.
To date, the ACLU of Massachusetts’ fight against the MPP has reunited seven families and brought 14 asylum-seekers to safety in the U.S.
Matt Segal, legal director at the ACLU of Massachusetts, released the following statement in response:
“Restarting the Remain in Mexico policy is shameful. The Biden administration should stop denying the harms caused to our clients and seeking the legal authority to harm them again, as it is doing in our litigation. Instead, if the administration is committed to permanently dismantling the MPP—as it should be—the Biden administration must acknowledge that the policy was motivated by racial animus and designed to undermine the legal rights of people seeking safety by making it too dangerous and terrifying to pursue those rights.”
For more information about Bollat Vasquez et al v. Mayorkas, go to: https://www.aclum.org/en/cases/bollat-vasquez-et-al-v-wolf-et-al
For more information about the ACLU of Massachusetts, go to: http://www.aclum.org