• Press Release

Federal Court Orders U.S. to Abandon ‘Remain in Mexico’ Plan

April 8, 2019

A federal court has issued a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” plan, temporarily blocking the policy. Also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, this plan forces asylum-seekers who have reached the US from Mexico to stay in Mexico while their claims are reviewed and decided, which could take months or years. Before resigning, Secretary Nielsen directed to plan an expansion of the policy beyond the locations in which it currently operates in California and Texas.

Charanya Krishnaswami, advocacy director for the Americas at Amnesty International USA, issued this statement:

“We welcome the decision to block this cruel and irresponsible policy. Asylum-seekers passing through Mexico have already endured dangerous journeys to flee desperate situations. Returning them to Mexico and forcing them to wait there would put them at real risk of serious human rights violations. As it currently stands, the policy gravely violates both domestic and international law.

“People seeking protection deserve care, not contempt. It is time for the Trump administration to abandon this dangerous plan. This policy has no place in a country that claims to value human rights.”

For years, Amnesty International has documented the dangers faced by people seeking protection while traveling through Mexico. In March 2019, Amnesty visited Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala to observe conditions faced by asylum-seekers and migrants. In fall 2018, Amnesty researchers also documented Mexican immigration officials forcibly returning people seeking protection back to their home countries, in violation of international law.