Press Release: LAWG Applauds Ninth Circuit Ruling Halting Implementation of Inhumane “Remain in Mexico” Policy

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Lauri Alvarez, Program Assistant
(202) 546-7010 |

February 28, 2020

LAWG Applauds Ninth Circuit Ruling Halting Implementation of Inhumane “Remain in Mexico” Policy

Washington, D.C. – The Latin America Working Group (LAWG) applauds the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, issued today February 28, 2020, upholding the preliminary injunction halting the Trump Administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy or so called “Migrant Protection Protocols.” Since the policy began to be implemented in January 2019, it has sent close to 60,000 asylum seekers to wait in danger in Mexico during their U.S. asylum proceedings. The ruling strips the administration of one of its primary anti-asylum policies. There have been over 1,000 public reports of rape, kidnapping, torture, and other violent attacks against individuals returned to Mexico under Remain in Mexico.

“The Ninth Circuit’s ruling reaffirms the illegality and inhumanity of the Remain in Mexico policy. The impacts of over a year of its implementation have been devastating and resulted in shutting out the most vulnerable from our border, forcing them directly into danger and subjecting them to live in makeshift camps. We commend the court for finally putting an end to these grave human rights violations and will keep demanding that the policy is fully rescinded,” states Daniella Burgi-Palomino, co-director for the Latin America Working Group.

In its ruling, the court cites an Amicus Brief supported by LAWG and states, “This evidence in the record is enough—indeed, far more than enough—to establish that the Government’s speculations have no factual basis. Amici in this case have filed briefs bolstering this already more-than-sufficient evidence.” LAWG has documented the unlawful nature of the policy and the grave human rights violations it has exposed asylum seekers to.

LAWG will be closely monitoring the implications of the court’s ruling for those families, individuals and children currently waiting in Mexico under the policy. We urge the administration to comply with the court’s decision and to ensure that implementing agencies completely halt the policy across the U.S.-Mexico border. We urge members of Congress to ensure oversight moving forward.

For additional information see Delivered to Danger and All About the Remain in Mexico Policy.