NGOs warn that they will not collaborate with the US to reactivate ‘Stay in Mexico’

Organizations that provide legal assistance to migrants in the U.S. have warned the Joe Biden administration that they will not collaborate with the reimplementation of “Stay in Mexico,” the program that forces asylum seekers from Central America to wait south of the Rio Grande for their appointment with the judge.
The plan was launched by former President Donald Trump in January 2019 and suspended two years later. Now, a judge’s decision forces the current US government to reactivate it, although for this it needs to reach an agreement with Mexico.
Read: US plans to reactivate ‘Stay in Mexico’ migration policy in November

Andrés Manuel López Obrador has transmitted to the US several conditions to accept the arrival of asylum seekers, among which are the guarantee of legal assistance and that stays in Mexico are not extended for more than six months.
“There is no way to make this program safe, humane or legal. No measure of civil society engagement will mitigate the harms of this horrific, racist and illegal programme. We refuse to be complicit in a program that facilitates the rape, torture, death, and family separations of individuals seeking protection by committing to provide legal services,” the letter reads, addressed to President Biden; Vice President Kamala Harris; the Secretary of State, Alejandro Mayorkas; and Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.
The document warns that activists and lawyers were also put in danger by helping asylum seekers returned to Mexico or migrants returned through Title 42, the executive order that allows express removals.

“The cartels’ extensive territorial control and the complicity of Mexican government agents in violent attacks and kidnappings against asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants makes it clear that the U.S. government cannot re-implement the MPP without subjecting vulnerable individuals to widespread violence,” the letter reads. that recalls that only during the months that Biden has been in office, at least 6,356 complaints have been reported for “kidnapping, rape, torture and other attacks against migrants.”
Read: ‘Stay in Mexico’ is a threat to the asylum system’: UN
The negotiation that Mexico denies
The refusal of U.S. organizations to collaborate with the reimplementation of “Stay in Mexico” goes beyond a rhetorical position. On Thursday, the Second Report of the Biden administration to the Texas court that forces it to reactivate the program was made public. In it, the White House lists the requests made by Mexico to accept Central Americans: guarantee that cases are resolved in six months, that asylum seekers receive “timely and accurate” information, “better access to a lawyer,” better coordination in the hours and places of return and protection to avoid the expulsion of especially vulnerable populations.
That same Thursday, Mexico announced that it had expressed to the United States its concern about some aspects of the MPP such as “respect for due process, guarantee of legal certainty and access to legal advice, as well as about the integrity and security of migrants.”
Although it seems that both governments say the same thing, it is not so. Mexico has always assured that the MPP is a unilateral policy of Washington that it cannot oppose, while the documents presented by the US government to the Court indicate that President López Obrador had to give his approval both in 2019 and now for the arrival of asylum seekers.
To meet the requirements of speed in the process and access to legal support, the U.S. sought help from organizations that work with migrants at the border. On Saturday, several of them showed their rejection of the reactivation of “Stay in Mexico” during a meeting with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). After expressing their refusal to reactivate the protocol, all left the meeting and warned that they will not continue holding talks until the Biden administration backs down.
Reopening of borders
“They ask civil society organizations to do everything possible to create systems that facilitate the reactivation of the MPP,” complained Luis Guerra, a migrant advocate and member of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (Clinic).
“Our job is to help the migrant community and we will continue to do so,” he said in an interview with Animal Político. But he recalled that Mexico has asked that asylum seekers have access to legal representation and that the processes end in six months. “These are two things that we don’t think is possible,” he said.
In the opinion of the activist “there is no way in which this protocol can be humanitarian or safe” for asylum seekers.
The announcements of the reactivation of the MPP, which according to the US will begin in mid-November in Brownsville and Laredo, are accompanied by other announcements that cannot be analyzed independently. Last week, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced the reopening of the border with the US for all those who have the complete vaccination scheme against COVID-19, and on Monday 18, envoy John Kerry announced Washington’s support for López Obrador’s plan to extend Sembrando Vida to Central America at an event held in Palenque, Chiapas.
What we do at Animal Político requires professional journalists, teamwork, dialogue with readers and something very important: independence. You can help us keep going. Be part of the team.
Subscribe to Animal Político, receive benefits and support free journalism.#YoSoyAnimal

Original source in Spanish

Related Posts

Add Comment