DHS nixes Trump’s ‘remain in Mexico’ policy for migrants

The Biden administration Tuesday formally ended a policy enacted by the Trump administration that pressured asylum-seekers to attend in Mexico for their instances to be heard in an American immigration court docket.

In a seven-page memo obtained by the Associated Press, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas acknowledged that the Migrant Protection Protocols Program — the formal title for the so-called “remain in Mexico” policy — “does not adequately or sustainably enhance border management in such a way as to justify the program’s extensive operational burdens and other shortfalls.”

Mayorkas acknowledged that roughly 68,000 individuals have been affected by the policy, which was carried out by then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in January 2019.

Critics of this system argued that asylum claimants have been hampered by violent circumstances in Mexico, lack of entry to attorneys and issue making it to court docket. Mayorkas acknowledged these considerations by noting that in response to DHS information, 44 % of asylum claims underneath this system have been denied because of failure to look in court docket.

Mayorkas concluded that conserving the “Remain in Mexico” program in place would “not be consistent with this Administration’s vision and values and would be a poor use of the Department’s resources.”

In this Aug. 30, 2019, file photo, migrants, many of whom were returned to Mexico under the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" policy, wait in line to get a meal in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Mexico.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas mentioned the “remain in Mexico” policy doesn’t assist the US border administration.
Veronica G. Cardenas/AP

In its place, Mayorkas touted a so-called “Dedicated Docket” introduced Friday that will expedite asylum hearings for households arriving on the US-Mexico. According to a joint assertion by DHS and the Department of Justice, Immigration judges would usually determine such instances inside 300 days of an preliminary listening to in 10 cities: New York, Newark, Denver, Detroit, El Paso, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Biden promised to terminate the “Remain in Mexico” program throughout his presidential marketing campaign and ordered its suspension on his first day in workplace, however left a window open by ordering a evaluation earlier than shutting it down completely.

Since Feb. 19, about 11,200 individuals with energetic instances have been allowed to return to the United States to attend for a ruling, a course of that may take years in the backlogged court docket system. The administration has but to say if tens of hundreds extra whose instances have been both dismissed or denied will get one other likelihood.

Republicans have been outraged by Mayorkas’ choice Tuesday, with Rep. John Katko (R-NY), calling it “a very serious mistake.”

“The ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy was a critical tool for border patrol agents to manage the influx of migrants flooding into our country,” Katko, the highest Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement. “Once again, the Biden Administration has forced our frontline border security professionals to manage the mess it made with no choice but to catch-and-release tens of thousands of migrants into the interior of our country.”

“Hillbilly Elegy” writer J.D. Vance, who not too long ago launched an exploratory committee for a possible Senate run subsequent yr, tweeted that the reversal of the policy was “idiotic.”

“‘Remain in Mexico’ was one of the smartest immigration policies of the last 30 years,” Vance wrote. “A president who cares about his own people dying of fentanyl overdoses doesn’t do this.”

NY Rep. John Katko was critical of the move from the DHS.
NY Rep. John Katko was vital of the transfer from the DHS.
Rebecca Blackwell/AP

The White House has largely stored in place pandemic-related powers launched by President Donald Trump in March 2020 to expel individuals to Mexico with out a possibility to hunt asylum, justified on grounds of defending public well being. Mayorkas acknowledged planning for these pandemic-related powers to be lifted however was gentle on specifics.

With Post wires

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