Friday, November 26

The US wants to reestablish “Remain in Mexico” in mid-November for asylum seekers

Asylum seekers cross the international bridge from Mexico to the United States through Ciudad Juárez.

John Moore / Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The administration of US President Joe Biden wants to reestablish the “Remain in Mexico” program in mid-November, which forces asylum seekers to stay in Mexican territory while their cases are resolved in the US, if the neighboring country accepts it.

This was expressed by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a motion filed in the last hours before a federal court in Texas.

In its brief, DHS explained that it “is prepared” to reapply the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP, in English) – also known as “Remain in Mexico” – if the Mexican authorities accept asylum seekers who return the US to your territory.

To this end, the US Government indicated that it has held “multiple” conversations with the Mexican Executive to explain its plans to reactivate this program and guarantee “an independent decision by Mexico to accept the return of those registered in the MPPs.”

Last August, the Texas court ordered the Biden Administration to reinstate the MPPs, finding that the White House had improperly canceled this program, in response to a lawsuit from the Republican-governed states of Texas and Missouri.

Shortly after, the country’s Supreme Court upheld the Texas court ruling, thus forcing the government to restore a measure that Biden has described as “inhumane.”

The government of former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) launched the MPPs in 2019, forcing more than 60,000 asylum seekers to return to Mexico to wait for their cases in the US to be resolved.

This policy was designed to prevent immigrants arriving through the southern border of the country from avoiding deportation by seeking asylum in the United States.

In order for Mexico to accept this measure, Trump threatened the Mexican authorities with the imposition of tariffs.

Upon his arrival at the White House last January, Biden ordered the suspension of MPPs, coinciding with an increase in the arrival of undocumented immigrants to the border.

In February, the Biden Executive began allowing the entry into the U.S. of immigrants with active cases under the MPP and, in June, the DHS definitively put an end to the program, much criticized by human rights organizations.

In its August decision, the Supreme Court admitted that the MPP cannot be resumed without the consent of Mexico and for that reason Washington is conducting conversations with the Mexican authorities on “when and how the MPP will be reapplied,” the DHS noted in your motion.

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