President Biden will reinstate the “Remain in Mexico” policy after losing a court battle to eradicate the Trump-era protocol. The policy requires asylum seekers to wait in Mexico until their immigration hearing.
The United States will take steps to address Mexico’s humanitarian concerns with the program, the officials said, including offering vaccines to migrants and exempting more categories of people deemed vulnerable.
Migrants also will be asked if they have a fear of persecution or torture in Mexico before being enrolled in the program and have access to legal representation, U.S. officials said during a call with reporters on Thursday.
President Joe Biden, a Democrat, ended the policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) soon after his inauguration in January. But a federal judge ruled Biden’s rescission did not follow proper procedure and in August ordered its reinstatement. The U.S. government said it had to wait for Mexico’s agreement before the policy could restart. “The United States accepted all the conditions that we set out,” said one Mexican official.
The MPP program will restart with a small number of migrants at a single U.S. border crossing on Monday, but will eventually expand to San Diego, California and El Paso, Laredo and Brownsville in Texas, one of the U.S. officials said.
Biden is still working to end the policy despite the overwhelming numbers of migrants crossing the border.