FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 30, 2022
Government Accountability Project Supports Supreme Court Decision on MPP
WASHINGTON – Today, the Supreme Court held that the law does not require the Biden administration to continue the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), or the “Remain in Mexico” policy. This long-awaited decision ends the illegal and dangerous assault on asylum seekers who were forced to wait for their immigration court dates in life-threatening conditions in Mexico. Under the policy, many asylum seekers were unable to return to the United States for court due to reasons outside their control, and their cases were closed. While this decision is an important step forward, we recognize there is still significant work to be done to ensure that our immigration practices are corrected to prevent harm to those seeking asylum in our country, as government data indicates that over 30,000 asylum seekers with closed cases could be eligible to pursue asylum claims.
Government Accountability Project is committed to upholding refugee law and defending human rights, as our client, former U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) asylum officer Douglas Stephens, was one of the very first to raise grave concerns that MPP violated numerous laws and treaty obligations and posed a significant threat of harm to asylum seekers forced to remain in Mexico. After refusing to conduct further interviews under MPP and being threatened with retaliation, Stephens filed disclosures that became the focus of a shocking report issued on November 14, 2019, and went on the record with the Los Angeles Times and This American Life (for which both outlets were awarded the Pulitzer Prize).
Government Accountability Project Senior Counsel and attorney for Stephens, Dana Gold commented:
“While Government Accountability Project Celebrates this hard-fought victory, we know there is much work to be done to bring this country’s immigration practices in line with the law. We are reminded of the power of whistleblowers like Doug Stephens, a former asylum officer who spoke up when he was forced to implement MPP. Doug’s whistleblowing helped propel the legal challenge before the Supreme Court, and his disclosures made it impossible to ignore the documented harms suffered by asylum seekers on the Mexican border denied entry to the U.S. There is no question that his whistleblowing, combined with the support the of the asylum officers’ union, made an invaluable contribution to the long fight led by immigration justice groups to end this illegal and dangerous policy. Government Accountability Project will continue to work with our whistleblower clients to shed light on the realities of our country’s immigration laws to ensure that the right to safely seek asylum is protected.”
Contact: Andrew Harman, Communications Director
Phone: (202) 926-3304
Government Accountability Project
Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.