The Department of Homeland Security said the Migrant Protection Protocols program would be scrapped ‘promptly’.
US says it has ended a Trump-era policy requiring asylum seekers to wait for Mexico for hearings on their immigration status following a Supreme Court ruling in favor of President Joe Biden’s attempt to rescind the initiative.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) program, informally known as “remain in Mexico,” would not be implemented “quickly and without delay.” orderly,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement Monday.
The policy, introduced in 2019 under former Republican President Donald Trump, has pushed non-Mexican asylum seekers to return to Mexico to wait for their US cases to be resolved, sometimes taking months or years.
No more people will be applying for the program, and those currently waiting in Mexico will be removed from the program and allowed entry into the United States when they return to the scheduled court dates, DHS said in a statement. their next meeting, DHS said in a statement.
It added that the policy has “endemic flaws, imposes unwarranted human costs, and pulls resources and personnel away from other priority efforts to secure our borders”.
The move to remove the program came after The US Supreme Court ruled on June 30 in favor of Biden’s bid to end it.
But the timing of the announcement was questioned, with DHS officials saying they had to wait for the court to certify the verdict and Trump-appointed judge, Matthew Kacsmaryk of Amarillo, Texas, then have his restraining order lifted. about policy cancellation. .
The Supreme Court certified its ruling last week and Kacsmaryk overturned his order on Monday.
Tens of thousands sent back
Under Trump, who has made restricting legal and illegal immigration to the US a key principle of his time in office, the initiative has forced some 70,000 non-Mexican asylum seekers to turn back. back to the border where they waited in often bad and dangerous conditions.
Biden, a Democrat, ended the MPP shortly after taking office in January 2021 as part of the efforts to reverse hardline policies of his Republican predecessor.
But the termination was blocked by a federal judge in August 2021, forcing Biden to restart the program and ultimately submit the legal fight to the Supreme Court.
As of July 6, nearly 5,800 asylum seekers had been sent to Mexico under an improved version of the program, according to DHS statistics.
Nicaraguans make up the largest number of those affected, with Cuban, Colombian and Venezuelan nationals also affected.
Despite Washington’s move to rescind the policy, many questions about its ongoing impact remain, including whether those whose claims are denied or denied will get a second chance or those who do. The next court date is a few months away and will be allowed to return to the US sooner. .
DHS said it will provide more information “in the coming days”.