- The Biden administration said it struck a deal with the Mexican government to restore a Trump-era border policy that forces asylum seekers to stay in that country until their US immigration court date.
- The program will resume on Monday at a border location and eventually include seven entry points including San Diego and the Texas cities of Laredo, El Paso and Brownsville.
- “Main changes” to the policy will be made to address humanitarian concerns raised by both the Mexican and US government.
The Biden administration announced Thursday that it has struck a deal with the Mexican government to restore a Trump-era border policy that forces asylum seekers to stay in that country until their US immigration court date.
The program will resume Monday at a border location and eventually include seven entry points, including San Diego and the Texas cities of Laredo, El Paso and Brownsville, NBC News reported,
policy was First implemented in 2019 Amidst a rise in Central American families crossing the Southwest border by former President Donald Trump. About 70,000 migrants have been returned to Mexico under the policy since 2019. According to the American Immigration Council.
President Joe Biden suspended the policy on his first day in office, dealing with the violence migrants face while waiting in Mexico for their court hearings, and formally abolished it in June,
But the Republican-led states Texas and Missouri sued the Biden administration over the program’s suspension in April. In August, a federal judge for the Northern District of Texas sided with the states and ordered the administration to reinstate the policy pending the outcome of the trial. The administration appealed to the Supreme Court which blocked its efforts to end the policy.
Since then, the US has been coordinating with the Mexican government on how to restore this controversial program.
“Significant changes” will be made to the policy to address humanitarian concerns raised by both the Mexican and US governments, the Department of Homeland Security said in a press release.
For example, the US aims to end immigration court proceedings within six months of a person’s return to Mexico under the revised policy. Previously, immigrants subject to the policy had to wait months, if not years, to see an immigration judge.
According to a press release from the Department of Homeland Security, adult migrants will be given the opportunity to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Vaccination will not be mandatory.
The US will also ensure that immigrants subject to the policy have access to legal counsel before and during immigration court hearings, and will ensure that “safe and secure” shelters are available to those living in Mexico.
These changes address various “humanitarian concerns” raised by the Mexican government over the “Stay in Mexico” policy last week. The government urged the US to expedite immigration court procedures and provide additional resources to migrants.
“The Mexican government reiterates the importance of strengthening development cooperation to address the root causes of migration,” the Mexican Foreign Ministry said in a press release. “Furthermore, it reaffirms the goal of administering a migration policy that respects the human rights of migrants in order to achieve orderly, safe and regular migration to the region.”
In another attempt to end the program, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Meyercaso Released the memo in October It also shared humanitarian concerns about the policy.
He said it imposed “substantial and unreasonable human costs” on the thousands of migrants who were waiting in Mexico and “failed to provide the fair process and humanitarian protections that all people deserve,” according to the four-page memo. According.
Meyerkas also noted that migrants deported to Mexico under the policy have been subjected to “extreme violence and insecurity” at the hands of international criminal organizations.
For example, as of February 2021, there were at least 1,544 publicly documented cases of rape, kidnapping, assault and other crimes against persons deported under the MPP, according to Human Rights First. Several people, including at least one child, died after being deported to Mexico and attempted to cross the border again as part of the policy.
Human Rights First said, “‘Stay in Mexico’ and other policies that violate asylum laws and treaties are inhumane and unjust.” in a press release, “Every day they are in place, they drive people seeking protection to places where they are the target of brutal attacks and kidnappings carried out by deadly cartels and corrupt Mexican officials.”
The return of the “stay in Mexico” policy comes as the Biden administration faces sharp criticism for its handling of it Most migrant encounters at US-Mexico border in two decades,
Republican lawmakers have slammed Biden for not taking a more drastic approach to curbing immigration, pushing the idea that he is encouraging “open borders” and falsely claiming that migrants have tested positive for COVID-19. driving the spread.
For example, Representative Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, pointed out Fox News on Sunday The US-Mexico border remains “as open as it was”. He called on the Biden administration to immediately restart the “Stay in Mexico” program.
The administration has also received backlash from progressive Democrats and immigration advocates for not rolling back the former president’s harsh immigration policies.
In particular, he has condemned the Biden administration’s use of a second Trump-era policy known as Title 42. This policy allows for rapid removal of migrants from the US without giving them the opportunity to apply for asylum.
In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Title 42 would remain in effect as long as there was no risk of non-US citizens bringing COVID-19 into the country when they crossed the border. Unaccompanied children are exempted from the health law.
The Biden administration has defended the use of Title 42 on several occasions.
Meyerkas calls Title 42 a “Center for Disease Control Public Health Authority”, not an “immigration policy”, alleging that the pandemic situation justifies its use.
“We see this as a public health imperative because the Centers for Disease Control has ordered so,” Meyerkas said in an interview with Oct. Yahoo News.