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San Diego immigrants’ rights advocates criticize 'Remain in Mexico' ruling

Mexican flag over Tijuana
Posted at 4:53 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 19:53:34-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Local immigrants’ rights advocates are speaking out after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block a court ruling ordering the president to reinstate the controversial Trump-era "Remain in Mexico" policy.

"In Tijuana alone, the shelters are packed with migrants," said Pedro Rios with the American Friends Service Committee. He spoke to ABC 10News on Wednesday following Tuesday's ruling by the US. Supreme Court.

“This decision makes a really terrible situation even worse because it ensures that migrants who would be allowed to present themselves for asylum reasons are going to have to wait in Mexico, many of whom don't have a fixed address and they become and easy target for people who want to extort them or take advantage of them,” added Rios.

RELATED: Supreme Court orders 'Remain in Mexico' policy reinstated

The policy, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, had been halted just after President Biden took office, but Missouri and Texas filed suit, arguing concerns over safety and security. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton praised this week's ruling. Part of a tweet from him reads, "Paxton wins again."

On Wednesday, Jewish Family Service of San Diego criticized the ruling, writing in part, "Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) worked tirelessly yesterday - the last day of processing and crossing - to assist as many individuals and families through the MPP wind-down process as possible. Working through the night, we welcomed an additional 37 individuals comprising 16 families."

“The U.S. must adhere to international protocols for protecting people who are seeking asylum. It needs to ensure that there are enough resources to accept people that process them in a humanitarian way that doesn't degrade or denigrate them in any way shape or form,” Rios added.