Dozens of immigration activists reportedly walked out on top officials of the Biden administration during a virtual meeting over the weekend, in protest of the upcoming re-instatement of the Trump-era "Remain in Mexico" policy.
The activists, of which many had "end the MPP" backdrops behind them, asked for time before the meeting started on Saturday morning with several Biden administration officials, including people from the Department of Homeland Security officials and the White House Domestic Policy Council's Esther Olavarria.
The advocates then used that time to read from a prepared statement, which accused the Biden administration of "playing politics with human lives" and that they could not continue with these meetings "in good conscience."
"We have, sadly, reached a turning point," the group of immigration activists concluded, before signing off en masse.
According to Politico, Ariana Saludares, of the activist organization Colores United, told the media: "I cannot stand one more meeting of them pretending. They give us accolades on the outside, but on the inside, we're having to take out the metaphoric knives from our back."
Luis Guerra, of the pro-immigration Catholic Legal Immigration Network, stated:
"I think [this administration is] afraid of the backlash of anti-immigrant groups, and we'll continue to remind them that that backlash will exist regardless of what they do. 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."
The Biden administration, on their part, reiterated that they are just following the rule of law, and are looking for solutions. "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," commented a spokesperson for the White House.
MPP stands for Migrant Protection Protocols, and is colloquially known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy. It is widely considered to have been one of the hallmarks of the Trump administration, and when President Joe Biden entered office, he struck it down. However, a recent court ruling required the policy to be re-enacted, and the Biden administration is complying with the order as of the beginning of November 2021 while the appeal progresses.