Bishop Seitz Calls on Biden Administration to End Remain in Mexico Policy; Stands With Asylum Seekers and Those Who Serve Them

EL PASO, Texas — In an Oct. 14 court filing, the Biden administration announced its decision to restart the so-called “Migrant Protection Protocols,” also known as “Remain in Mexico,” which forces certain asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border to wait in Mexico for their cases to move forward. The policy is deadly. First put in place under the previous administration, it has resulted in asylum seekers being extorted, raped, and murdered, and made it impossible for them to access legal assistance and other resources.

On Oct. 16, in response to the administration’s announcement to restart the program, organizations who work on the border and have direct knowledge of the impact of Remain in Mexico delivered a statement to the Biden administration during a White House meeting and then walked out. Their message is clear: Remain in Mexico is inhumane and you cannot make the inhumane, humane.

While the administration has taken the stance that the restart of Remain in Mexico is compelled by the courts, legal experts have made clear to the administration that a termination memo can be issued immediately. Bishop Seitz of El Paso — the port of entry where the most asylum seekers were subjected to Remain in Mexico — released the following statement on the Biden administration’s decision to restart Remain in Mexico, despite available options:

“God’s word on how we should treat people forced to migrate is clear: we must welcome and protect. As the Bishop of El Paso, I have seen first-hand the impact of disastrous policies of deterrence at the border such as Remain in Mexico.

“President Biden, as a person who values your Catholic faith and the leader of our country, I implore you to act immediately to end Remain in Mexico and put in place at the border humane policies which uphold the value and dignity of every human being. Remain in Mexico, like Title 42, causes needless suffering for those forced to flee who have come to our doorstep in need of protection. It is time to heal, to restore our commitment to asylum, and in the words of the Holy Father, move ‘towards an ever wider we.'”