Laura Arroyo of Jewish Family Service meets with family members seeking asylum. Photo by Chris Stone

Jewish Family Service of San Diego, which operates San Diego Rapid Response Network Migrant Shelter Services, reacted with criticism Wednesday to the Supreme Court’s decision ordering President Joe Biden to abide by former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy.

“Yesterday’s refusal by the Supreme Court to block a lower court order, thereby allowing the re-instatement of the abhorrent policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), is devastating to the progress that has been made in lawfully ending and unwinding a cruel and inhumane program,” said Michael Hopkins, chief executive officer of Jewish Family Service.

He urged the Biden administration to “uphold its promise to end MPP and protect those seeking asylum at our borders.”

The high court on Tuesday denied Biden’s bid to rescind an immigration policy implemented by his predecessor, Donald Trump, that forced thousands of asylum seekers to stay in Mexico awaiting U.S. hearings.

The San Diego nonprofit said its staff worked through the night Tuesday to resettle 37 individuals comprising 16 families.

Since Feb. 19, Jewish Family Service said it has assisted 2,730 individuals who had been entered into MPP, as well as more than 48,000 asylum seekers through the San Diego Rapid Response Network Migrant Shelter Services over the last three years.

“MPP has already deprived more than 70,000 vulnerable migrants of the protection they desperately seek, and access to vital resources and assistance in the U.S., including legal aid.,” Hopkins noted. “This re-instatement will force countless more to wait in dangerous living conditions for an untold amount of time as they wait to exercise their legal, human right to seek asylum.”

“We remain optimistic and committed to creating a fair and humane asylum system that welcomes people who are fleeing persecution and come to America seeking safety, security, and a better life,” said Hopkins.

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