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Lankford Statement on Supreme Court Decision on Removing Policy Which Kept Asylum Seekers in Mexico

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), the lead Republican on the Border Management Subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee with jurisdiction over the southern border, is disappointed in the decision by the Supreme Court to allow the Biden Administration to start rolling back the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), otherwise known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

“It is not unreasonable to expect the President of the United States to secure the nation’s borders. Biden has abused our legal asylum process to encourage people to illegally enter the country,” said Lankford. “Our asylum laws are not written to facilitate people seeking economic opportunity, which is what the vast majority of asylum seekers pursue. Currently, the Biden Administration releases asylum seekers into the US for eight years while they await their asylum hearing. A long legal process discourages legitimate asylum seekers and incentivizes illegal immigration. Stopping “catch and release” is a simple way to protect our borders and process legal immigrants.”

“Remain in Mexico,” or MPP, requires migrants seeking asylum at the southern border to stay in Mexico until their immigration court hearings are decided. Lankford continues to point out that allowing people into the country for an asylum hearing means they will be in the country for up to eight years due to the current backlog of asylum cases.

Lankford continues to lead in the Senate to stand up against Biden’s open border policies and lack of law enforcement leadership, which Lankford has discussed directly with border law enforcement agents and officers. Lankford recently spoke on the Senate floor in support of a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to dissolve a proposed Biden Administration rule that would illegally upend the process by which the US government grants asylum claims to migrants. Lankford joined Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and 29 Senators to introduce the resolution in April. The resolution failed to pass in the Senate in a vote of 46 to 48.

Lankford sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on his concerns about efforts to re-implement the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers. Lankford has repeatedly asked for information and raised significant questions about whether DHS followed the District Court’s order to resume the program in “good faith.”

Lankford is leading the charge to push back on the Biden Administration’s plans to revoke temporary, pandemic-related Title 42 authority and to stop the ongoing chaos at the southern border amid Biden’s hypocrisy about COVID. After the highest year on record for illegal crossings this past year and nearly 240,000 encounters of border crossers last month, Lankford introduced the Public Health and Border Security Act to require all COVID-19 related national states of emergency to be lifted before Title 42 is officially terminated until a workable plan to replace it is put in place.