As the Supreme Court Determines the Fate of ‘Remain in Mexico,’ Congress Must Invest in the Resources That Welcome and Keep Those Seeking Asylum Safe in Their Fiscal Year 2023 Budget
Washington D.C. – Today, the Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments in Biden v. Texas, a case that will eventually determine whether the Biden administration has the ability to end the deadly Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols, also referred to as the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program. The program has forced tens of thousands of asylum seekers to wait out their asylum proceedings in Mexico and resulted in horrific violence against individuals, families, and children.
The Defund Hate campaign, a coalition of over 50 organizations working to cut funding from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), issued the following statement:
“The ‘Remain in Mexico’ program has been deadly for Black and brown immigrant communities and needlessly allocated taxpayer dollars to force asylum seekers into dangerous and vulnerable conditions. Seeking asylum is everyone’s human right, but first and foremost, it is a legal right. Our country has the resources to welcome all who are fleeing persecution, violence, climate disasters, and more with the dignity, community, and respect they deserve. Instead, policies like ‘Remain in Mexico’ and Title 42 have led to nearly 10,000 cases of violent attacks—including assault, robbery, kidnapping, rape, and murder—against people who have been cruelly and needlessly blocked from seeking asylum here.
The protections and improvements the Biden administration and members of Congress promised to immigrant communities have yet materialized. Just this year, Congress passed an FY 2022 appropriations bill that increased funding for immigration detention, mass surveillance, and border militarization after months of backroom negotiations. Most recently, President Biden introduced a Fiscal Year 2023 budget proposal that also sought massive increases to CBP funding and ICE’s dangerous surveillance programs to track immigrants.
Yet, while proposing increased funding that would target Black and brown migrants, the administration has struck a different tone when welcoming many Ukrainian refugees, proving that we have more than enough resources to welcome migrants and those seeking asylum humanely and with dignity, without subjecting them to harmful detention or intrusive surveillance.
Congress and the Biden administration must work together to end Trump-era policies like Title 42 and ‘Remain in Mexico’ without increasing detention and surveillance in their place. Congress can and must deliver a final federal funding bill for Fiscal Year 2023 that significantly cuts funding for immigrant detention and surveillance technology and reinvests in providing our communities with the long-needed support and infrastructure to thrive.”
The #DefundHate campaign, composed of organizations representing directly impacted communities, faith leaders, and civil rights and immigrant rights advocates, is committed to divestment from agencies that tear apart our families and terrorize our communities. For too long, our representatives have said they care about our communities while simultaneously funding aggressive immigration enforcement and deadly immigration jails. They must be held accountable to keep their promises and stand with the immigrant community. We call on our members of Congress to say no and vote against wasting taxpayer dollars on an abusive and deadly immigration enforcement system. Instead, we want our tax dollars used to strengthen our families and communities by investing in education, housing, nutrition and health care programs that provide opportunity and increase well-being.