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US Gets Ready to Revive 'Remain in Mexico' Immigration Policy


The Biden administration is preparing to revive in mid-November a controversial Trump-era border policy known as "Remain in Mexico," according to officials.

Know the details of the program "Stay in Mexico" 1:35

(CNN) -

The Biden administration is preparing to revive a controversial Trump-era border policy in mid-November that forces migrants to remain in Mexico until the date of their hearing in U.S. immigration court, according to officials.

The schedule, administration officials warned, depends on Mexico and whether it agrees to accept those enrolled in the program.

The policy, informally known as "staying in Mexico," was suspended at the beginning of President Joe Biden's term and formally terminated months later.

But in August, a federal judge in Texas said the Biden administration had violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires agencies to take certain procedural steps when implementing the policy, in the way the program was run and ordered its reactivation.

The Supreme Court then rejected the Biden administration's request to stay the lower court order, dealing a major blow to the administration as it sought to distance itself from Trump-era immigration policies.

Under President Donald Trump, migrants from Central America and other parts of the world seeking asylum at the southern border of the United States were forced to remain in Mexico until their immigration court hearings, often in dangerous cities.


This meant an unprecedented departure from previous protocols, which had allowed migrants to enter as they went through their immigration hearings in the United States.

An estimated 68,000 migrants were returned to Mexico under the policy, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

For those subject to the measure, that meant waiting months, if not years, in miserable conditions and under threat of extortion, sexual assault and kidnapping.

While Biden officials have said they do not agree with the policy, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), the administration has been in talks with Mexico about its re-implementation.

Some of the points that are still being discussed between the US and Mexico include cases being heard in a timely manner, access to an attorney, and establishing criteria for those who are not subject to the policy.

The Mexican government, administration officials said, also expressed concern about the times and locations of the returns.

"Significantly, Mexico is a sovereign nation that must make an independent decision to accept the return of persons without status to Mexico as part of any re-implementation of the MPP. Discussions are ongoing with the Government of Mexico on when and how the MPP will be re-implemented." the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.

The department previously said it is updating policies and procedures to account for COVID-19 and preparing contracts to rebuild facilities for immigration hearings that came under intense scrutiny during the Trump administration.

Those courts will be set up in two Texas border cities: Laredo and Brownsville, according to administration officials.

If the policy is implemented, it would be the second Trump-era policy to remain in effect on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Biden administration has already faced harsh criticism for keeping in force a public health order implemented at the start of the coronavirus pandemic that allows for the rapid expulsion of migrants, largely preventing them from seeking asylum.

Administration officials said that if both policies are implemented simultaneously, the public health order will take precedence.

Stay in Mexico

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-10-15

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