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Home / Press Release / Remain In Mexico Plan an Illegal, Immoral Attack on Nation's Asylum System
January 24, 2019

Remain In Mexico Plan an Illegal, Immoral Attack on Nation's Asylum System

Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the Trump Administration will begin forcibly returning some refugees requesting asylum at the U.S. southern border to Mexico as they await immigration court hearings, Human Rights First’s Kennji Kizuka, who recently returned from a trip to the border, released the following statement:

Bypassing immigration law put into place by Congress is illegal. Returning asylum seekers to Mexico and stranding them there is illegal. This is yet another attempt by the president to undermine asylum and deny protection to people fleeing persecution.

From the moment this policy was proposed, there have been more questions than answers. Will lawyers be able to visit their clients before hearings? Where will those hearings take place? Who will guarantee the safety of asylum seekers who fled their home countries out of fear and may remain in danger in Mexico, as they await those hearings? Too many questions remain unanswered.

In our long history as a world leader in welcoming refugees, our nation's asylum system has never been in more jeopardy. The president cannot ignore the will of Congress and should not implement a policy that will neither work nor make our country more secure.

Congress and the courts must take action to block the latest of this administration’s ill-advised and illegal attempts to eviscerate our nation’s protections for asylum seekers.

For more information on this policy, see Human Rights First’s fact sheet, or click here to learn why Mexico is not safe for refugees and asylum seekers. To speak with Kizuka contact Christopher Plummer at PlummerC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3310.