Keep ‘Remain in Mexico’ So the U.S. Can Remain a Country


December 16, 2021

By Brian Lonergan

There has been considerable debate over the past year about whether the United States has a future as a nation if it has no enforced borders. It is a legitimate question, given the masses of humanity that our government has allowed to flow unregulated through Texas and the other southern border states. Against this grim backdrop, the Biden administration’s latest setback in opposing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) represents hope for America and the possibility that there is a way out of this calamity.

Despite his move to kill MPP upon assuming the presidency, Biden has now suffered defeats in that effort in federal district court, the Supreme Court and, most recently, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Those decisions put the Biden White House in the awkward position of having to implement a policy that it has demonized for almost two years.

At issue is the MPP’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, whereby U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) require certain illegal border crossers to wait in Mexico pending their immigration proceedings instead of being detained or released into the United States. Because it was implemented by Donald Trump and was highly effective at reducing the number of illegal border crossings, Team Biden and its supporters on the radical anti-borders Left have all but declared it a crime against humanity that must be eradicated by any means necessary.

When one puts aside the Left’s partisan spin and crocodile tears over the border issue, it is hard to deny that policies like “Remain in Mexico” make sense.

The Fifth Circuit panel disagreed, excoriating Biden’s Department of Homeland Security for claiming “the power to implement a massive policy reversal — affecting billions of dollars and countless people — simply by typing out a new Word document and posting it on the internet.”

“Remain in Mexico” works because it is based on a learned principle: allowing bad behavior will create more bad behavior. While our corporate media portrays them as largely illiterate farm workers, those who make the trip here from Latin America pay close attention to what our leaders say and do, and they act accordingly.

When Trump implemented MPP, the number of illegal border crossings dropped. Why? Because those who might come did not want to suffer the financial cost and possible physical trauma of a run for the border if it would end with them waiting in Mexico for an undetermined period. There were consequences for bad behavior, and the bad behavior decreased.  

Conversely, when candidate Biden encouraged migrants to “surge the border” last year, they did exactly that and have been coming ever since. The mayor of Yuma, Arizona recently declared a state of emergency due to “unprecedented numbers of migrants entering the city prior to being processed and released by Border Patrol.” CBP reported that since Oct.1 of this year, the number of migrant encounters in Yuma has increased by an astonishing 2,647 percent.

This is neither leadership nor sound public policy. It is how a nation disintegrates into chaos. It also raises questions that are better suited for an elementary school civics class. What constitutes a nation? Can a land without borders function as a nation? The fact that we are even asking these questions show the degree to which our society has regressed in less than a year.

As a further example of the upside-down thinking at the highest levels of our government, “immigration czar” Kamala Harris has been busy organizing more than a half-billion dollars in private industry investments in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America, ostensibly to address the “root causes” that drive foreign nationals to our borders. This strategy of nation-building is not only proven to fail, but it will take decades to complete. By that time and with the current border policies, America’s economic prospects may only be slightly better than those of Guatemala.

If the Biden White House had a better alternative to “Remain in Mexico,” it hasn’t shown it in almost a year. What we have seen is tent cities under bridges, detention centers filled beyond capacity, and loose enforcement for illegal aliens of the COVID rules that we Americans are nevertheless expected to follow to the letter. While the bloodthirsty human smuggling cartels are in boom times, even violent American gangs like the Crips are getting in on the profits of trafficking illegal aliens. It is an unmitigated disaster, and most Americans are saying “no more.”

When one puts aside the Left’s partisan spin and crocodile tears over the border issue, it is hard to deny that policies like “Remain in Mexico” make sense. They benefit the United States of America and give our country stability that is desperately needed. They even save the lives of those who would otherwise make a journey that often subjects them to assault, trauma and death. Thankfully there are still parts of our judiciary that are grounded in common sense and the preservation of our nation. 

Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

Also published at: Brian Lonergan, Keep ‘Remain in Mexico’ So the U.S. Can Remain a CountryAmerican Greatness, December 16, 2021.

Get Connected

Sign up for our email newsletter to stay up to date with immigration reform in the United States.

Attorneys United for a Secure America (AUSA) is a non-partisan affiliation of talented attorneys dedicated to pursuing cases that serve the national interest when it comes to immigration law.

If you are interested in joining the network, visit the AUSA website.