Florence Project and Kino Border Initiative Welcome Recent Wins in Immigration Policy

The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project and the Kino Border Initiative celebrate recent victories for immigrants’ rights: the effective end of the Migrant Protection Protocols (also known as MPP or “Remain In Mexico”) and the defeat of anti-immigrant amendments in Congress.

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act through the House and Senate without any dangerous and harmful anti-immigrant amendments attached was the direct result of months of advocacy as we joined other community groups in calling on Senators to commit to voting NO on all poison pill amendments, including any amendments that would extend or codify Title 42. We celebrate this historic investment in battling climate change and expanding access to healthcare and thank all congressional champions and allies who ensured the clean passage of this bill and held the line to protect asylum seekers and immigrants.

Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security announced last week that it would formally begin the process of unwinding Remain in Mexico, halting new enrollments and unenrolling people at their next court dates. In tandem, these policies have put tens of thousands of asylum seekers in grave danger and have been in effect for far too long.

“This good news is long overdue,” says Chelsea Sachau, Managing Attorney of the Florence Project’s Border Action Team. “We bore witness to years of irreparable harm and violations of thousands of migrants’ rights under Remain in Mexico. We are deeply relieved that enrollments into the Remain in Mexico program have been halted and celebrate the long-awaited end of this program entirely. We call upon the administration to work with the various MPP populations who are currently stranded in Mexico and in danger to expeditiously process them into the U.S. so that they can continue their legal cases with the support of their families or communities. Along with the good news, we also continue to call on political leaders to work as allies with asylum seekers so they may be welcomed with dignity. There is still much work to be done.”

“My mind and heart are full of the faces and voices of so many individuals and families who we have accompanied in these last three years after they were subject to MPP,” says Joanna Williams, Executive Director at the Kino Border Initiative (KBI). “I’m relieved to know that, thanks in part to their advocacy, no one else will suffer anew in this program. In this critical moment, we recommit to working towards humane and just policy for all asylum seekers at the border, including those currently stranded by Title 42.”

As we celebrate these wins, we recognize that there is still a long way to go and much work to be done to protect migrants’ rights and ensure they are welcomed with dignity. We will continue to advocate for the rights of our clients and all migrants, always standing up in the face of injustice.