Last week MWEG introduced the Principles of Ethical Government. One of the three guiding principles is responsibility — that “all human beings are mutually accountable to their fellow human beings.” We believe we will be held responsible by our Heavenly Parents for how we treat each other or allow others to be treated. This is no less true of how we are treating our brothers and sisters south of the border who are suffering in Mexico as they wait for asylum to be granted.
In January of this year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a new policy called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP, also publicly referred to as the Remain in Mexico Policy). Kristjen Nielsen, then Secretary of DHS, explained this policy as a “humanitarian approach.” Accounts by those who have visited (like MWEG member Jenny Sevilla) describe it very differently.
Several witnesses testified to the U.S. House on Tuesday that the conditions families are facing on the Mexican side of the border are inhumane. In the past, people seeking asylum were processed comparatively faster and able to live with sponsoring families in the U.S., ensuring their safety while awaiting court hearings and decisions lasting one to two years. While not easy to obtain, work VISAs could sometimes be used to find employment during that time as well. Now, people seeking asylum are sent back to Mexico while going through the process, exposing families to gangs, violence, unsanitary conditions, lack of medical care, inadequate food and housing, and extremely limited access to employment. An analysis by Human Rights First found that there have already been 343 reported cases involving the rape, kidnapping, and violent assault of asylum seekers in the MPP program.
The MWEG Principles of Ethical Government say, “People have moral responsibilities to provide succor and relief to their fellow human beings fleeing war, violence, persecution, and natural disasters, regardless of their race, nationality, or religion (see Leviticus 19:33-34, Matthew 25:31-40, and Alma 27:21-24).” The Remain in Mexico Policy is a direct violation of this principle. While MPP has not yet been deemed illegal in a court of law (see lawsuit information here), the ethical violations are clearly against international and domestic asylum laws that mandate that asylum seekers are not to be deported to an unsafe country.
“The Trump administration has repeatedly changed immigration policy to make the process difficult and painful for the families involved. This has not made the U.S. any safer and has put the lives of children and their families at risk. The Remain in Mexico policy is another such policy.”
“My heart breaks that families are suffering in Mexico when they could be living safely in the U.S. while waiting for their asylum claims to be processed and evaluated.”
“I support the rule of law, but when laws or policies put the lives of people, including children, at risk, something is wrong with those policies. I would like to see a return to the humane policy of allowing asylum seekers to remain in the U.S. with sponsoring families while waiting for their claims to be processed.”
“I want my representatives in Washington to understand that the policies they are supporting are causing direct harm to people who are already fleeing life-threatening situations.”
“I am speaking out to say that we are a country built upon immigration, and I support immigrants seeking asylum in our country. What good is it to be a ‘city set on a hill’ if we are not also inviting those seeking safety to join us?”
“I pray for my representatives and my fellow citizens to look at the situation at the border with compassion, instead of using fear to create false narratives.”
“The inhumane situation in Mexico is one of many reasons we need to see large scale immigration reform.”
MWEG members are given additional training to turn their opinions into op-eds and letters to the editor. Please join us today to get access to those materials.