Washington, D.C. - In response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Biden v. Texas affirming President Biden’s authority to end the cruel, Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, Setareh Ghandehari, Advocacy Director at Detention Watch Network, issued the following statement:
“Since its inception, the “Remain in Mexico” policy along with other harmful border policies have forced thousands of Black and Brown migrants into dangerous, often deadly conditions. It is past time for the Biden administration to end these policies once and for all. Today’s Supreme Court decision in Biden v. Texas affirms President Biden’s authority to end the “Remain in Mexico” policy and further underscores what we’ve always known: the Biden administration retains full discretion to not detain people yet cruelly chooses to separate families and communities. The Biden administration must do everything in its power to ensure the “Remain in Mexico” policy is terminated for good and restore access to the border without relying on immigration detention or increasing ICE’s surveillance dragnet.
Let us be clear: immigration detention is a fundamentally flawed and inhumane system that must be abolished. The routine detention of immigrants is rooted in a long history of racism, anti-Blackness, mass incarceration and criminalization of communities of color in the United States. This week, 53 migrants tragically died in a trailer truck in San Antonio, the direct result of a U.S. immigration system that prioritizes deterrence and detention over humanity and support.
Welcoming people with dignity and ending immigration detention are matters of racial and immigrant justice, tenets the Biden administration claims to uphold. Yet the number of people in immigration detention has increased rapidly under Biden’s watch. Right now, there are over 24,000 people in immigration detention - 10,000 more people than the day President Biden took office. As the fight to permanently end the deadly “Remain in Mexico” continues, justice for immigrant communities need not wait for the courts. In addition to ensuring the permanent termination of “Remain in Mexico,” the Biden administration must act now to protect immigrant communities by extending parole to all people seeking safety and security in the US, ensuring an end to Title 42, freeing people from detention and shutting down detention centers.”
Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition building power through collective advocacy, grassroots organizing, and strategic communications to abolish immigration detention in the United States. Founded in 1997 by immigrant rights groups, DWN brings together advocates to unify strategy and build partnerships on a local and national level. Visit detentionwatchnetwork.org. Follow on Twitter @DetentionWatch.