Press Releases

Hern criticizes Biden Admin for flouting federal court rulings on Remain in Mexico Policy

Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01) joined over 40 Members of Congress on a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in response to the recent announcement of its intention to issue a new memo terminating the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. 

Representative Rick Allen (GA-12) led the letter. Joining Representatives Hern and Allen on the letter are: Dan Crenshaw (TX-02),  Ann Wagner (MO-02),  Virginia Foxx (NC-05), Matthew Rosendale Sr. (MT-AL), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Carlos Gimenez (FL-26), Ted Budd (NC-13), Bill Posey (FL-08), Thomas P. Tiffany (WI-07), Garret Graves (LA-06), Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), Brian Babin, D.D.S (TX-36), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Jody Hice (GA-10), Michael Waltz (FL-06),  Ralph Norman (SC-05), Bob Gibbs (OH-07), Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26), Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Eric A. “Rick” Crawford (AR-01), Fred Keller (PA-12), Glenn 'GT' Thompson (PA-15), Liz Cheney (WY-AL), Austin Scott (GA-08), Fred Upton (MI-06), Robert E. Latta (OH-05), Mike Bost (IL-12), David Kustoff (TN-08), Randy Feenstra (IA-04), Richard Hudson (NC-08), Andrew S. Clyde (GA-09), Earl L. 'Buddy' Carter (GA-01), Barry Moore (AL-02),  Dan Bishop (NC-09), Stephanie Bice (OK-05), W. Gregory Steube (FL-17), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Ken Calvert (CA-42), Randy K. Weber (TX-14), Pete Sessions (TX-17), and Madison Cawthorn (NC-11).

The text of the letter can be found here and below. 

October 13, 2021

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
2707 Martin Luther King Jr Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20528

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.”1  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.3 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.4

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.5

However, on June 21, 2021, your Department announced its intention to end MPP.6 More recently, the Department doubled down on this announcement by stating your intent to craft a new memorandum to replace MPP entirely.7 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.8

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.







Background Information: 

In 2019, DHS implemented MPP to ensure an orderly process for asylum cases by requiring those claiming asylum to reside in Mexico while their case was pending. This policy, when used together with additional policies and rules issued under the Trump Administration, reduced the number of illegal border crossings. 

The Biden Administration first announced their intent to end MPP in June 2021. Missouri and Texas brought a suit to a federal district court, where the court ruled that the Biden Administration must reinstate MPP by August 21, 2021. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit denied a hold on this ruling. The Biden Administration took it to the Supreme Court, but it was rejected, and the Supreme Court required the Administration to reinstate MPP. 

Despite multiple court rulings against them, the Biden Administration is still moving forward with their plans to terminate MPP. This is not the first time the Biden Administration flouted the legal system – in August, Democrats’ eviction moratorium was rejected by the Supreme Court, but they moved forward with it anyways.