On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s “Migrant Protection Protocols” — also known as the “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy — would be allowed to continue until the legal challenges against it were resolved.
Elsewhere in the nation, a Department of Homeland Security lawyer made the stunning admission to a judge that the government was well aware that migrants sent back to Mexico are being put in great danger, contradicting their previous insistence that adequate measures are being taken to ensure that immigrants are protected from the predations of local drug cartels and gangsters.
An audio clip obtained by CNN shows a DHS lawyer arguing that the United States should deny a man asylum because he was not in court for his hearing, despite the fact that his absence was due to him being in the hands of kidnappers.
In an astonishingly callous show of cruelty, the lawyer argued that “the circumstances that they’re concerned with [kidnapping] is potentially a reality for every correspondent, and again that opens up the floodgates because everybody doesn’t have to show up as long as they have counsel.”
In stunning audio obtained by @CNNValencia, the Trump administration admits its Remain in Mexico policy is dangerous, despite defending it as safe, with a gov lawyer saying every migrant sent to Mexico to wait is at risk of being kidnapped. https://t.co/LqFYoVayVd via @CNN
— Adrian Carrasquillo (@Carrasquillo) March 11, 2020
The judge was aghast at the implications of the government’s argument and immediately called him out on it.
“I’ll be honest, I don’t like it. What I’m hearing is that well, everybody has to take that risk and that chance, and you get kidnapped, you get kidnapped, that’s the risk you take for being in Mexico and wanting to apply for asylum here in the United States.”
This stands in sharp contradiction to earlier statements by the acting Customs and Border Protection commissioner, Mark Morgan, who in December dismissed reports of violence against migrants as “anecdotal” and promised that “we’re having dialogues with the government of Mexico on a daily basis to ensure that the travel of these individuals who are amenable to MPP are going back and forth in a safe, secure environment.”
They clearly have not done so. Out of the nearly sixty thousand migrants sent back under MPP, there have been at least 816 confirmed murders, rapes, and kidnappings, including 201 kidnappings or attempted kidnappings of children. 1 in 4 migrants report being threatened with violence.
With no legal representation and no prospects, some abandon their claims and return to their home countries, preferring to risk their lives again and return to the chaos that drove them away in the first place than remain in hellish limbo. The consequences of leaving, especially in El Salvador, can be fatal; hundreds of deported migrants have been reported to have been killed or abused upon returning.
The MPP policy, which began in January 2019, is the demonic successor to the Trump administration’s horrifying 2018 “child separation policy,” in which immigrant families were deliberately separated from their children before being incarcerated in border concentration camps in a monstrous effort to intimidate immigrants into not attempting to cross the border.
The lawyer’s admission that the government is aware that the policy of depositing innocent immigrants in Mexico is placing their lives in danger is just the latest display of deliberate cruelty from a White House that has gone out of its way time and time again to sadistically heap suffering and hardship on Latin and South American people seeking their chance at the American Dream.
A three-judge panel ruled that the MPP violated both U.S. and international law protecting asylum seekers in late February; the Trump administration’s appeal to the Supreme Court has resulted in the program continuing until the legal battle has been settled. Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only judge to dissent.
The CNN audio can be heard here:
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.