The Biden administration is returning migrants in small numbers to Mexico as it rolls out the resumption of the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), it fought for months to end.
The policy requires border officials to return asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while waiting for immigration court hearings.
The Biden administration is set to restart the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy following a court order, according to a Biden administration official.
The policy, which is also known as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), started in Dec. 2018 to keep asylum seekers in Mexico while they awaited immigration court proceedings. President Joe Biden revoked the policy soon after taking office.
Some immigration attorneys are refusing to be “complicit” in former President Donald Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols that were reinstated by the Biden administration and expected to go into effect as early as mid-November, BuzzFeed News reported Thursday.
The attorneys said they won’t offer pro bono legal assistance to migrants enrolled in Trump’s Remain in Mexico program because of the alleged dangers and rights violations migrants are subjected to, according to BuzzFeed. Immigration advocacy groups said they will keep assisting migrants at the southern border, but worry the reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) will result in more people than attorneys can effectively represent.
The Biden administration said Friday that it intends to repeal former President Donald Trump’s “Remain In Mexico” policy after a federal judge denied its first attempt, the Department of Homeland Security announced in a statement.
President Joe Biden had originally suspended the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, mandating non-Mexican migrants wait in Mexico until their immigration court date in the U.S., in June. However, a Texas federal judge ruled in August he was violating federal law in the way he went about ending it.
Concerned about the lack of testing of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich sent a letter to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, demanding to know what the Biden administration is doing to ensure that migrants apprehended crossing the border who are infected with COVID-19 or who have been exposed to it are not coming into contact with Americans. He gave Becerra until October 1 to respond. Considering Brnovich has sued the Biden administration multiple times, it appeared to be a threat that he would file another lawsuit if nothing was done.
Brnovich said in his letter, “The Biden administration has chosen the path of increasing government regulation at opposing individual liberties when it comes to handling COVID-19 in the midst of American communities. Yet this same administration has been nothing short of laissez-faire in dealing with tens of thousands of migrants that are pouring across our open border and being ferried across our nation during the same world-wide pandemic. This hypocrisy is stunning and fundamentally unfair to American citizens.”
Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas invited President Joe Biden to witness the migrant crisis for what would be his first trip to the southern border as president.
Thousands of migrants resorted to staying in dangerous tent cities in Mexican border towns after the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) were implemented in 2019 and the Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s efforts to repeal the policy, Catholic Charities Executive Director Norma Pimentel said in an op-ed Monday for The Washington Post.
Pimentel asked Biden to visit the Rio Grande Valley and negotiate with Mexican officials to secure more humane conditions for the migrants. She appealed to the president’s Catholic faith to provide humanitarian assistance to the migrants.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich led 15 other attorneys general to file an amicus curiae brief on August 30 in a lawsuit requesting to halt the Biden administration’s “Interim Guidance” policy of not enforcing laws against illegal immigration when it comes to crime. The lawsuit was filed against the Biden administration on April 6 by the attorneys general of Texas and Louisiana accusing Biden of endangering Americans by no longer arresting or deporting nearly all illegal immigrants involved in crime. Brnovich and the coalition asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to deny Biden’s request for a stay of his policy while his administration appeals a trial court’s ruling halting the policy.
“The Biden Administration continues to intentionally violate federal immigration laws and endanger all Americans,” said Brnovich in a statement. “We continue to see the release of convicted felons, COVID-19 positive migrants, and record levels of dangerous drugs into cities across our country. These reckless policies are illegal, unconscionable and disgraceful. The Biden Administration must be held accountable.”