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Upton, House Republicans Urge Biden Administration to Continue Remain in Mexico Policy

SAINT JOSEPH, MICHIGAN – Today, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, joined several of his Republican colleagues in sending a letter led by Representative Rick Allen (R-GA) to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging his agency and the Biden Administration to abandon their plans to eliminate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), better known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. In August, the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that the Administration must implement MPP “in good faith,” and the Supreme Court denied the Administration’s request for a stay days later.

“Our border is under siege – period,” said Rep. Upton. “The Remain in Mexico policy is a commonsense approach that was mighty successful during the last administration and will go a long way to stem the surge of migrants we’ve seen for months now as well as protect local border communities. Rescinding this important program would only make the crisis we face much worse. That simply cannot be allowed to happen.”

“Full implementation of MPP provides asylum-seekers the opportunity to be properly vetted while no longer blindly releasing an individual into the country, with no accountability to ensure they return for their immigration court hearing. Additionally, policies like MPP were successful at reducing the number of illegal crossings during the Trump Administration,” said the lawmakers.

The lawmakers continued, “However, on June 21, 2021, your Department announced its intention to end MPP…The men and women working under the Department of Homeland Security face immense challenges every day, and they deserve clear guidance as they enforce our immigration laws. They should never be subjected to misguided political directives that make their jobs more difficult. We strongly urge you to uphold the decisions of the court by implementing MPP and performing your duty to secure our border.”

Last month, Upton helped introduce a resolution led by U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) calling on the Biden Administration to fully enforce our nation’s immigration laws, including the “Remain in Mexico” policy, and support the brave men and women of our border patrol amid the worsening humanitarian crisis at our Southern Border.

Over the years, Upton has worked diligently with his Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC) colleagues to introduce real solutions and find common ground on border security measures and immigration policy. In 2019, he traveled to the Texas-Mexico border with the PSC to witness the crisis firsthand, hear directly from border patrol agents about the challenges they face, and redouble congressional efforts to strengthen the border. That same year, Upton supported $25 billion over five years to continue construction on the border wall as part of a larger immigration package.

You can read the full letter HERE or below:

Dear Secretary Mayorkas:

We write to you today to express our deep concern over your recent announcement to terminate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico Policy.” MPP was issued in 2018 to provide an orderly process for asylum cases and curb the flow of illegal immigrants being released into the United States. Section 235 of the Immigration and Nationality Act gives your Department the authority to implement procedures for the inspection of those seeking asylum, specifically detailing that the Secretary “may return the alien to that territory pending a [removal] proceeding under § 240” of the Act. Full implementation of MPP provides asylum-seekers the opportunity to be properly vetted while no longer blindly releasing an individual into the country, with no accountability to ensure they return for their immigration court hearing. Additionally, policies like MPP were successful at reducing the number of illegal crossings during the Trump Administration.

Unfortunately, under your leadership, it appears that the Biden Administration refuses to use all available tools, resources and policies proven to maintain control over our immigration system and instead, has created a substantial and ongoing crisis at our Southern Border. It was reported that your Department is preparing for an estimated 350,000 to 400,000 border crossings this month. This would nearly double the 21-year high of crossings recorded for July this year.

However, on June 21, 2021, your Department announced its intention to end MPP. More recently, the Department doubled down on this announcement by stating your intent to craft a new memorandum to replace MPP entirely. The United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that the Administration must implement MPP “in good faith,” and the Supreme Court denied the Administration’s request for a stay. Therefore, your memorandum terminating MPP is circumventing the courts’ decisions.

If the Department abandons the tools needed to secure our border, it is a dereliction of duty and an insult to the officials on the ground who have been on hand to implement MPP, despite partisan leaders at the top constantly working to undermine its success.

The men and women working under the Department of Homeland Security face immense challenges every day, and they deserve clear guidance as they enforce our immigration laws. They should never be subjected to misguided political directives that make their jobs more difficult. We strongly urge you to uphold the decisions of the court by implementing MPP and performing your duty to secure our border. We look forward to a timely response.

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