CLINIC Condemns the Biden Administration’s Decision To Restart MPP and Doubles Down on Its Call for Termination, in Support of Asylum Seekers

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — In response to the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement that it is prepared to restart the Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP, program “on or around Monday, Dec. 6” CLINIC issued the following statement:

“The so-called Migrant Protection Protocols are a lie on multiple levels that sadly is being carried over from the Trump administration to the Biden administration,” said Bishop Mark J. Seitz, Bishop of El Paso, Texas, and CLINIC Board Vice President. “It is a glaring example of government doublespeak and an obfuscation of the truth.”

“First, the name itself is a lie. It has nothing to do with the protection of migrants, and it places families in dangerous situations among communities that are already suffering from a lack of resources. Second, MPP operates on the assumption that those coming to our border have no right to enter. To prevent those who seek asylum from entering is not only heartless, it is illegal.”

The restart of MPP is impossible without risking the lives of others, both asylum seekers and legal service providers who provide counsel and guidance to those seeking entry to the United States. There is no version of MPP that is acceptable. Access to counsel and due process is impossible under MPP, as CLINIC’s recent statement addressed to both U.S. and Mexican governments made clear.

“Reinstating MPP is a stain on our nation,” said Anna Gallagher, CLINIC’s executive director. “It is a dangerous and deadly policy. As happened during its prior implementation, vulnerable men, women and children will suffer denigration, disrespect, assaults, rapes and murders. It is inhumane, unjust, and violates our obligations under our own legal system and international refugee law.”

“Mr. President, we implore you to follow the Catholic values that form the foundation of your life-long public leadership of our country. It is time to draw on those values and prioritize the lives of the suffering men, women and children waiting at our border over politics. It is time that you do what is humane and stop MPP.”

Border advocates cannot participate in a program that harms those seeking shelter from a place they once called home. The U.S. government has not been able to and cannot ensure the safety of asylum seekers while they remain in Mexico. The administration must end this program. We must move closer to a system of dignity and respect for the law as we welcome our brothers and sisters seeking to protect their lives and the lives of their children in our country.