Grassley Statement on U.S.-Mexico Asylum Agreement
WASHINGTON – Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced that the United States and Mexico will enter into a safe third country agreement that will help accommodate the steady stream of migrants traveling through Mexico seeking asylum in the United States. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Senator Mike Lee of Utah called for such an agreement in October. Grassley made the following statement on today’s announcement.
“I applaud today’s announcement regarding the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP) agreement between the United States and Mexico. In October, Senator Lee and I wrote a letter to Secretaries Pompeo and Nielsen, urging the Trump Administration to pursue a safe third country agreement with Mexico. The MPP is a welcome first step in that direction. Under the MPP, migrants claiming asylum will wait in Mexico during the adjudication of their claims here in the United States. There, the Mexican government will provide these individuals with humanitarian visas, work authorization, and other protections. Additionally, applicants will have access to immigration attorneys and to the U.S. for their court hearings.
“This creates a safe and orderly process for handling thousands of asylum applications, and ensures that migrants are treated in a humane manner. This agreement also protects American sovereignty and provides overdue relief to our own immigration system. We can focus on quickly assisting legitimate and vulnerable asylum-seekers, while deterring fraudulent claimants from making the journey to our border. Most importantly, this agreement will allow us to address our staggering asylum backlog.
“I applaud the efforts of Secretaries Pompeo and Nielsen, as well as Mexican President López Obrador. I’m hopeful this will prompt other countries in our hemisphere to adhere to Mexico’s example and begin to help shoulder the responsibility for unprecedented levels of unsanctioned mass migration.”