EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Two of the nation’s top immigration-laws enforcers celebrated Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision leaving the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program intact.
Migrant advocates, meantime, said the ruling will keep thousands of asylum seekers placed in the “Remain in Mexico” program at risk of murder, rape and kidnapping in an ongoing humanitarian crisis the Trump administration created.
“This ruling is a devastating blow to our nation’s commitment to due process and the protection of human rights. By failing to block this unlawful policy, (the Supreme Court) is complicit in fueling a humanitarian crisis that endangers lives,” said U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, who previously filed a bill to defund the program.
Noting only the dissent of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the high court did away with a 9th Circuit Court ruling that would have allowed asylum seekers sent to Mexico from Arizona and California to continue their processing in the United States later this week.
“The decision by the (Supreme Court) today allowing MPP to continue helps us maintain border security and ensure the integrity of the immigration system,” said U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott.
Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said the ruling “confirms the lawful authority” of President Trump to secure the nation and keeps in place an “effective” program.
But migrant advocates say the program has pretty much been an abomination.
MPP so far has sent 60,000 asylum seekers to Mexico, of whom more than 1,000 have been victims of violent assaults — including rape and murder, in some cases — with 201 children being victims of abductions or attempted abductions, according to the American Immigration Council.
“This is wrong,” the Council tweeted. “Rather than turning away people fleeing harm, the United States lives up to its reputation as a haven for those who are seeking protection by providing people with a fair day in court. The Supreme Court’s decision will block thousands from their fair day in court.”
Texas State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, also believes the MPP program goes against everything the United States stands for.
“This ruling is yet another brick in the wall of tragedy this Administration has created. The president is breaking the promise of the United States as a nation of immigrants; he will not honor our obligation to provide a safe opportunity for asylum seekers to make their case, and does not value the lives of the people he is knowingly placing in danger through the Remain in Mexico policy,” Rodriguez said.
With the high court ending, for now, a judicial pathway to halt “Remain in Mexico,” immigration advocates are now turning to Congress to intervene.
“It’s going to take real people power to move our elected officials to end ‘Remain in Mexico’ as things continue to play out in the courts. Contact your elected folks and demand an end to the program today,” El Paso’s Hope Border Institute tweeted.
In its court filings, the Trump administration estimates that only 25,000 asylum seekers placed on MPP actually remain in Mexico.