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News > U.S.

Biden To Reinstate Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' Migration Policy

  • The Biden administration is preparing to resume Trump’s Remain In Mexico policy to curb the border crisis.

    The Biden administration is preparing to resume Trump’s Remain In Mexico policy to curb the border crisis. | Photo: Twitter/@realDailyWire

Published 15 October 2021
Opinion

The Biden administration will reinstate the Trump-era policy known as Remain in Mexico, the president announced Friday, which forced over 70,000 asylum seekers to stay in Mexico for extended periods in dangerous conditions while they waited for their cases to be considered U.S. courts.

Joe Biden suspended the policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in his first days in office, yet a federal judge ordered his team to reinstate

The US justice department said in a court filing Friday that the program’s reinstatement depended on approval from the Mexican government, which requests the asylum cases be settled in six months and for the U.S. to ensure people affected have timely and accurate information, as well as better access to legal counsel. The program will be put back in effect by mid-November.

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'Remain In Mexico Program Leaves Death and Torture' ACLU Says

Since Donald Trump introduced Remain in Mexico in January 2019, advocates criticized the program as it put highly vulnerable migrants from Central and South America at serious risk of physical harm and illness as they waited in some of the most dangerous cities in the world. The policy also didn't address the forces pushing people north to the US-Mexico border along with the huge backlogs in U.S. immigration courts.

In a January report about the policy that affected asylum seekers it interviewed, Human Rights Watch found that children “described rape or attempted rape and other sexual assault, abduction for ransom, extortion, armed robbery, and other crimes committed against them.”

According to Omar Jadwat, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) immigrants’ rights policy director, the news was “appalling” albeit acknowledged the Biden administration was required by a court order to make a “good faith” effort to restart it.

“They had a lot of options here, including re-terminating MPP promptly and seeking to vacate the order,” Jadwat said.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will restart the program by spending $14.1m to reopen temporary courtrooms located in tents in Laredo and Brownsville, Texas, which will cost $10.5m a month to operate.

In June DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas formally put an end to the policy and in a memo said: “MPP had mixed effectiveness in achieving several of its central goals and that the program experienced significant challenges.”

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