The Biden administration will re-implement next Monday the “Remain in Mexico” program, which forces asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while their cases are being considered after reaching an agreement with Mexico’s president.
This was confirmed Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which said that once the program is “fully” active, migrants will be returned to Mexico at seven ports of entry along the common border.
The Biden administration this year repealed the measure that had been pushed by his predecessor, Donald Trump (2017-2021), branding the measure as inhumane, however, months later he has put it back into practice.
In its statement, the DHS said it has worked “closely” with the Executive of the Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador so that there are “safe havens” for those migrants to whom the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), the formal designation of the “Remain in Mexico” program, are applied.
The Mexican Foreign Ministry assured in another statement that the United States “has accepted the humanitarian concerns of the Mexican Government”, among which it cited “greater resources for shelters and international organizations” that attend to migrants returned to their country.
He also assured that “anti-covid-19 measures will be implemented, such as medical check-ups” and that there will be “availability of vaccinations for migrants” waiting at the border for their immigration court appointments.
“The Government of Mexico has decided that, for humanitarian reasons and on a temporary basis, it will not return to their countries of origin certain migrants who have an appointment to appear before an immigration judge in the United States to request asylum in that country,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The ports of entry where the program will be implemented once it is fully in effect will be in San Diego and Calexico (California), in addition to Nogales (Arizona), and at four points in Texas: El Paso, Eagle Pass, Laredo, and Brownsville, according to DHS.
The Biden administration continues to deport the majority of undocumented immigrants arriving at its southern border without giving them the opportunity to apply for asylum, based on another measure known as “Title 42”, which the government justifies because of the pandemic.
According to official sources quoted by The Wall Street Journal, U.S. authorities will continue to give priority to “Title 42” and will only place undocumented immigrants in the “Stay in Mexico” program in those cases in which they cannot expel them using this measure based on the pandemic.