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Immigration activists stormed out of a meeting with top Biden administration officials on Saturday, apparently upset that President Joe Biden is breaking yet another campaign promise.
What is the background?
During his campaign, Biden promised to end former President Donald Trump’s “remain in Mexico policy,” which is officially known as Migrant Protection Protocols. Trump created the policy to end so-called “catch-and-release,” where migrants seeking asylum in America are released into the U.S. while their case progresses through the immigration court system.
Biden initially made good on his promise. On his first day in office, Biden suspended the policy. The Biden administration formally ended the policy this summer.
However, the Supreme Court ruled in August that Biden needed to reinstate the policy. The administration announced Friday they would reinstate the policy to comply with federal court rulings.
What happened now?
Immigration activist met virtually with top members of the Biden administration on Saturday, including Homeland Security officials and the White House Domestic Policy Council’s Esther Olavarria, Politico reported.
At some point, “dozens” of activists stormed out of the meeting, angry over Biden’s broken promises. The activist were reportedly upset that Biden will enforce the “remain in Mexico” policy.
Before leaving the meeting, the activist accused Biden of “playing politics with human lives.” The activists reportedly said, “We have sadly reached a turning point.”
“I cannot stand one more meeting of them pretending,” Ariana Saludares, who attended the meeting, told Politico. “They give us accolades on the outside, but on the inside, we’re having to take out the metaphoric knives from our back.”
“It’s almost like we were bamboozled into thinking that this was going to be the best option, and it isn’t. It’s actually worse,” she added. “It is as if you know that your family is now turning against you and telling you that it’s okay. It’s not.”
Luis Guerra, who also left the meeting, said, “We don’t actually believe they’re doing everything in their power to actually restore asylum at the border, the way that they say that they’re trying to.”
How did the Biden admin respond?
The White House attempted to soothe tensions with activists by reaffirming the Biden administration’s disagreement with MPP.
“The Biden Administration has been very clear that MPP is not an immigration policy we agree with or support. That’s why the Department of Homeland Security immediately appealed the court injunction once it was ordered,” a White House official told Politico.
“We are incredibly thankful and appreciative of the work immigration advocates and organizations do around the clock to improve our immigration system,” the official added.