Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Congressman Joaquin Castro

Representing the 20th District of Texas

Members to Pompeo: What Negotiations Led to Remain in Mexico Policy and Were They Bilateral?

Jan 3, 2019
Press Release
Castro Leads Effort Requesting Details and Text of Arrangement, Expresses Concerns of Reporting Discrepancies

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chair Elect of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Congressman Eliot L. Engel (NY-10), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; and Congressman Albio Sires (NJ-08), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to release the text and details of the any arrangement between the United States and Mexico on the Remain in Mexico policy announced recently by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Remain in Mexico policy, sometimes referred to as the Migration Protection Protocols, would require migrants to wait in Mexico until their asylum cases have been processed. In a letter to the Secretary of State, the Members specifically expressed their concern about contradictory media reports around what, if any, commitments were made by the Mexican government.

“We write to you to request the text and details of any agreement between the government of the United States and the government of Mexico regarding the recently announced Remain in Mexico policy, also referred to as the Migration Protection Protocols, in addition to answers to the other questions below,” the Members wrote.

The Members continued: “While both the government of the United States and that of Mexico have described this as a unilateral policy of the United States that the Mexican government has accepted, reporting over the last month has indicated that there have been negotiations between the two sides on this policy.”

Full text of the letter follows and can be found here.

January 2, 2019

The Honorable Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State​
Washington, D.C. 20520​

Dear Secretary Pompeo:

We write to you to request the text and details of any agreement between the government of the United States and the government of Mexico regarding the recently announced Remain in Mexico policy, also referred to as the Migration Protection Protocols, in addition to answers to the other questions below.

We are concerned about the discrepancy between the statements of both the government of the United States and that of Mexico and public reporting on the agreement. While both the government of the United States and that of Mexico have described this as a unilateral policy of the United States that the Mexican government has accepted, reporting over the last month has indicated that there have been negotiations between the two sides on this policy. 

Given contradicting media reports, often sourced to Trump Administration officials, we request prompt answers to the following questions:

  1. When did the government of the United States first approach the government of Mexico regarding the Remain in Mexico policy or the Migration Protection Protocols and which government agencies in the United States were involved in any such conversation?
  2. Did the government of the United States entered into any agreement, formal or otherwise, with the government of Mexico prior to the December 20 announcement of the change in asylum policy? If so, when were these agreements reached and what are the details of these agreements?
  3. Has the government of the United States entered into any agreement, formal or otherwise, with the government of Mexico to guide the implementation of this change in our asylum policy and our protocols with Mexico? If so, when were these agreements reached and what are the details of these agreements?

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,                

Joaquin Castro
Chair Elect
Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Eliot L. Engel
Ranking Member
Committee on Foreign Affairs

Albio Sires
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere
Committee on Foreign Affairs

cc: ​     

Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Kimberly Breier
Chargé d’Affaires at the United States Embassy to Mexico, John S. Creamer
Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen

 

# # #