Over 125 Organizations Urge the US Department of Homeland Security to Halt Illegal Border Expulsions
NCLR and more than 125 legal, faith-based, humanitarian, human rights and community organizations write to vehemently object to the Department of Homeland Security’s (“DHS”) use of the COVID-19 pandemic and the March 20 order of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) to carry out the Trump administration’s long-held goal of closing the southern border to people seeking life-saving protection in the United States.
For more than a year the administration has been turning back many asylum-seekers and other migrants to Mexico under the so-called “Migrant Protection Protocols” (“MPP”). But now border officers are blocking essentially all asylum-seekers and vulnerable children from requesting protection and returning them to places where their lives are at risk without even the veneer of sham MPP hearings. These expulsions violate U.S. refugee, immigration and anti- trafficking laws passed by Congress, as well as due process and U.S. treaty obligations to protect people at risk of return to persecution and torture, and are completely contrary to child welfare standards. We urge DHS to immediately halt these illegal and immoral policies, restore the rule of law at our borders, protect unaccompanied children, and implement practices informed by public health principles to safely process those seeking refuge in the United States.