Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) released the following statement after Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas moved to end the Trump Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), often referred to as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. MPP requires those seeking asylum at the southern border to stay in Mexico as they wait for their claims to be processed.
“The Trump Administration’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy was a common-sense way to process asylum applications and combat illegal immigration. It was so successful that even Secretary Mayorkas admitted this guidance helped reduce migratory flows. But rather than continue this policy – particularly at a time when illegal border crossings are at a record high – the Biden Administration is doubling down on its efforts to repeal it. This makes absolutely no sense.
“Instead of pushing mass amnesty, promising billions of dollars in benefits to illegal immigrants, and working to repeal existing policies that help secure our border, this administration needs to come to its senses and get serious about this crisis. An obvious place to start is bypassing my legislation that cracks down on drug cartels, supports border patrol agents, and gives immigration judges contempt authority.”
Since U.S. immigration courts currently lack contempt authority and face severe backlogs, individuals with credible and non-credible claims of asylum can enter the U.S. and be given a court date years away, thus allowing them to slip through the cracks. MPP played a critical role in ensuring those with non-credible claims of asylum could not take advantage of this broken system.
Earlier this year, Rep. Gallagher introduced a package of bills that would help address the crisis at the southern border, including H.R. 1120, the Empowering Immigration Courts Act. This bill would give ensure immigration judges are not treated as a second-class of judges by giving them the authority to impose criminal fines on anyone in contempt of their court.