Biden Forced To Reimplement 'Remain In Mexico Policy'

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US President Joe Biden speaks about efforts to address global supply chain bottlenecks at the White House in Washington on October 13, 2021
US President Joe Biden speaks about efforts to address global supply chain bottlenecks at the White House in Washington on October 13, 2021

President Biden is complying with a court order to revive a Trump-era immigration policy forcing migrants seeking asylum to remain in Mexico until the date of their court hearings.

Biden had previously axed the policy, calling it inhumane due to the conditions migrants faced while waiting for their court date. Texas and Missouri sued the administration over Biden’s decision in April and a federal judge ordered Biden to reinstate the policy in August. Biden tried to fight the ruling in federal appeals court and the Supreme Court and later announced he would comply with the judge’s ruling. 

The Department of Homeland Security released a statement saying it is “taking necessary steps to comply with the court order, which requires us to reimplement MPP in good faith.”

“Mexico is a sovereign nation that must make an independent decision to accept the return of individuals without status in Mexico as part of any reimplementation of MPP. Discussions with the Government of Mexico concerning when and how MPP will be reimplemented are ongoing,” said Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The Trump administration used MPP to return 60,000 migrants back to Mexico and required them to wait outside the U.S. until their cases were processed. The policy was designed to prevent those crossing the border from returning to the U.S. and avoiding deportation by making asylum claims. 

The DHS announced it has a “general commitment” to completing migrants court cases within a six-month period. The DHS also plans to expand the types of asylum seekers who will not be subjected to MPP but has not provided details as to who. Mexico has argued those who should be not be subjected to MPP would be people such as the sick, elderly, and the LGBT community. The DHS said it would seek to curb some of the effects of the program implemented under Trump.

Eleanor Acer, senior director of refugee protection at Human Rights First, condemned reimplementing the Trump-era policy saying it “will lead to immense human suffering”

“Trump 2.0 policies at the border are a recipe for continued cruelty, disorder, and violations of refugee law. The Biden administration must honor its promise to terminate this horrific program,” Acer added.

Since the Remain in Mexico policy began in January of 2019, there was a boom in migrant camps along the border where human rights organizations documented hundreds of kidnappings, rapes, and assaults of migrants waiting in the camps for their hearings.

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