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Joint Letter to President Biden on Expulsion Flights to Southern Mexico and Forthcoming Changes to Asylum Processing


Dear President Biden, Secretary Mayorkas, Amb. Rice and Advisor Sullivan:

We, the 102 undersigned organizations, write to express our profound disappointment at Secretary Mayorkas’s remarks yesterday that outlined plans to increase prosecutions of families and individuals arriving at our border and maximize expulsions. Far from fulfilling its commitment to build a “safe, orderly, and humane immigration system,” your administration continues to pursue cruel, unlawful, and ineffective deterrence-based policies that extend rather than dismantle the previous administration’s approach to migration. Since your administration took office in January 2021, there have been more than 3,000 documented kidnappings, extortions, rapes, and other attacks suffered by families and individuals expelled from the southern border.

We are gravely concerned by reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to send 24 expulsion flights per month of Central American families and adults seeking protection at the U.S.-Mexico border to southern Mexico. In the last week, hundreds of migrants expelled on the first such flights have reportedly been denied access to protection and forced by Mexican authorities into remote areas of Guatemala. DHS has also resumed lateral expulsion flights along the U.S.-Mexico border and expulsion flights to Haiti. These expulsions make a mockery of public health and human rights as they intentionally and systematically return people to harm in violation of U.S. law and international obligations of non-refoulement.

As it is finalizing forthcoming changes to asylum policy, we adamantly urge the administration to abandon consideration or adoption of policies which aim to deter or punish people for crossing the U.S. southern border to seek protection. The administration should also firmly reject any approaches that would return individuals to Mexico to await their U.S. immigration hearings under INA section 235(b)(2)(C). We applaud your decision to end and unwind the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), under which more than 70,000 individuals were sent to cities where they experienced grave human rights violations, including kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder, at the hands of bad actors. Our organizations vehemently oppose any future iteration of a MPP-style policy which would unquestionably put individuals in danger and violate U.S. asylum law.

We further call on the administration to immediately end its use of the public health order known as Title 42 to expel individuals and families back to danger, through expulsions at the border, lateral expulsion flights, and expulsion flights to southern Mexico and Haiti. As public health experts and UNHCR have made clear since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary and possible to protect public health and ensure access to asylum at the same time.

Your administration has the responsibility to restore the U.S. immigration system and uphold U.S. refugee law and treaty obligations. The administration’s recent actions highlighted above are in direct contravention of the goal to repair the broken immigration system you inherited. We urge your administration to immediately change course and reaffirm the U.S.’s commitment to protecting people fleeing persecution and allow families and adults their legal right to seek asylum in the U.S.


5 Site Council

Al Otro Lado

ABQ Faith Works Collaborative

Aldea - The People's Justice Center

American Friends Service Committee

American Immigration Lawyers Association

Amnesty International USA

Angry Tias and Abuelas of the RGV

Arizona Justice For Our Neighbors

Asylum Access México (AAMX) A.C.

Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP)

Austin Border Relief

Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)

Border Kindness

Bridges Faith Initiative

Casa del Migrante en Tijuana, A.C.

Caravan for the Children

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

Center for Civic Policy

Center for Democracy in the Americas

Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

Central American Resource Center (CARECEN-LA)

Central American Resource Center Of Northern CA -CARECEN SF

Church of the Brethren, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy

Church World Service

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)

Desert Support for Asylum Seekers

Detention Watch Network

Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, Inc.


Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project

Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement

First Focus on Children

Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project

Freedom For Immigrants

Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum

Haitian Bridge Alliance


Hispanic Federation

Hope Border Institute

Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative

Human Rights First

Humanitarian Outreach for Migrant Emotional Health (H.O.M.E.)

Immigrant Defenders Law Center

Immigrant Legal Defense

Innovation Law Lab

Interfaith Welcome Coalition

International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)

International Rescue Committee

Japanese American Citizens League

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA

Justice for Our Neighbors El Paso

Kino Border Initiative

La Raza Centro Legal San Francisco

La Raza Community Resource Center

La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE)

Laredo Immigrant Alliance

Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center

Latin America Working Group

LUPE (La Union Del Pueblo Entero)

Madres e Hijos

Mercy Immigrant Advocate Gtoup

Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project

National Immigrant Justice Center

National Immigration Law Center

National Immigration Project (NIPNLG)

National Justice for Our Neighbors

National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

New York Immigration Coalition

New York Justice for Our Neighbors, Inc.

Oxfam America


Project Corazon, Lawyers for Good Government

Public Counsel

Quixote Center

Rainbow Bridge Asylum Seekers

Refugees International

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network

Save the Children

Seguimos Adelante

Sin Fronteras IAP

Sisters of Mercy Laredo,Texas

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team

South Texas Human Rights Center

Southern Border Communities Coalition

Southern California Immigration Project

SPLC Action Fund

Student Clinic for Immigrant Justice

Taylor Levy Law

Team Brownsville Inc

Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors

The Advocates for Human Rights

The Sidewalk School

United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries


Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

We Are All America

Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center

Witness at the Border

Women's Refugee Commission