December 12, 2019

Rep. Kirkpatrick and Rep. Grijalva Send Letter to DHS

Washington D.C. – Rep. Kirkpatrick and Rep. Grijalva sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Wolf demanding answers on the “Remain in Mexico” policy expansion to the Tucson sector.

In November 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would be expanding the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy to the Tucson, Arizona and Del Rio, Texas sectors. Since the start of this program, more than 55,000 asylum seekers and migrants have been forced back into Mexico to await their immigration hearings. Asylum seekers arriving in the Tucson sector will now, as part of the expansion, will be sent to El Paso and subsequently forced to wait in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico while they await their hearings.

“The United States was built by people leaving their homeland and journeying here for a better life, it’s the great American story. Since the Trump Administration announced the implementation of the MPP earlier this year, I have said that it is un-American. Reports have indicated that hundreds of people returned or placed in Mexico under this policy have fallen victim to kidnapping, sexual assault, extortion, and other violations as they await to be heard or provided legal guidance,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “We demand that this administration end the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy and, further, explain if they set up protections for these asylum seekers prior to rolling out this cruel program.”

“After fleeing violence in their home countries and seeking safety in the United States, it’s unconscionable that the Trump Administration is forcing asylum seekers to await their hearings in Mexico under deadly conditions,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “As an increasing number of asylum seekers fall victim to kidnapping, sexual violence, extortion, and murder upon their return to Mexico, I join Rep. Kirkpatrick in demanding an end to the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy. Communities across the country are more than willing to provide safe haven and support to asylum seekers, even as the Trump Administration continues to turn its back on these vulnerable people.”

“Arizonans believe that people should be allowed to await asylum hearings from within the U.S. instead of being returned to Mexico, and you can see this in how our communities have responded to this crisis” said Rep. Kirkpatrick.

“Humanitarian groups in our community have demonstrated that Tucson and Arizona as a whole are more than capable of supporting our immigrant and refugee community and have the capacity to provide humanitarian support, even if this current administration does not.” said Rep. Kirkpatrick.

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