According to reports, a successful program that compelled many migrants seeking asylum to remain in Mexico while their asylum petitions were being processed by US officials will be reinstated shortly.
Former Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” proposal was put on hold in January when Vice President Joe Biden committed to do so during his 2020 presidential campaign.
Under Trump’s administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implemented a policy in 2019 requiring the return of “[c]ertain aliens attempting to enter the United States illegally or without documentation,” including asylum seekers who arrive on land via Mexico. The policy mandates that these individuals be returned to Mexico in cooperation with the Mexican government.
Following months of legal fights between the Biden administration and Republican-led states around the country, the program will finally be reinstated as early as next week, according to Axios, which broke the news first on Wednesday.
“In accordance with the court ruling, we are trying to reimplement MPP as soon as feasible,” said Marsha Espinosa, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security.
“We will not be able to do so unless we have received an independent consent from the Government of Mexico to accept people who want to enroll in MPP.” “When we are ready to do so, we will announce the timetable of reimplementation to the court as well as the general public,” she stated.
In contrast to the former arrangement, asylum claimants will once again be permitted to prosecute their claims while in Mexico rather than while remaining in the United States. According to US law, a person may only seek for asylum at a point of entry into the country or from inside the country.
In particular, every migrant who is taken from the United States after a suspected unlawful crossing or who is turned away at the border will be provided a Covid-19 immunization, but the shots are not required. As reported by Axios, it is unclear when the migrants would really get the vaccinations if they accept the offer.
At the time of its introduction, immigration authorities cited the high rate of defendants “fail[ing] to submit an asylum application and/or disappear[ing] before an immigration court can consider the merits of any claim” as a justification for the “Remain in Mexico” policy. Mexican citizens seeking refuge in the United States are exempt from the policy.
We have taken a ground-breaking move to solve the humanitarian and security catastrophe that has erupted along the southern border. The previous Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, said at the time that the policy was a “methodical sensible approach” to asylum requests.
“Tissue paper feeling” immigrants’ rights activists are sharply critical of the policy, pointing to high rates of violent crime in parts of Mexico caused by drug cartels and other criminal organizations as evidence that the United States is deliberately putting migrants in danger by sending them to Mexico.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) describes the program as “illegal and unspeakably cruel.”
As the ACLU points out on its website, “[P]eople who have been deported to Mexico have been exposed to horrendous crimes and exploitation, including kidnappings, rape, and other violent acts,” citing hundreds of such incidents recorded by an international human rights organization.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority held that Mr Biden’s administration could not suspend “Remain in Mexico,” and that DHS had failed to demonstrate that the decision to stop “Remain in Mexico” was not made in a “arbitrary and capricious” way.
The Biden administration has promised to continue its legal fight to get the program ended, even as it re-implements it in accordance with the Supreme Court’s August decision.
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