Biden Administration Pushes to End Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy

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The Joe Biden administration has urged a Fifth Circuit panel to vacate an injunction ordering it to reinstate the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols, which returned thousands of immigrants to Mexico to await resolution of their asylum cases, arguing they faced extreme violence at the hands of Mexican drug cartels and had difficulties accessing counsel and getting to their asylum hearings across the international border, reports the Courthouse News Service. President Biden suspended MPP, better known as “Remain in Mexico,” on his first day in office, then terminated it via a June 1 memo from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

MPP has not yet been restored because Mexico says it is unwilling to take asylum seekers back unless improvements are made to the program. Enrollments in MPP began declining back in spring 2020 when Trump’s DHS started using a different pandemic-related policy known as Title 42 to immediately expel most immigrants illegally entering the country. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk found the Biden administration had violated the Administrative Procedure Act by offering an arbitrary reason for ending MPP and found that by ending MPP, Biden was violating a federal law that gives the government two options in the handling of asylum seekers: mandatory detention or return to a contiguous territory.

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