Biden once again tries to end Trump’s ‘Stay in Mexico’ policy

The Department of Homeland Security tried for a second time on Friday to end a Trump-era policy requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico until their cases are heard in US immigration courts — despite acknowledging that the policy is “likely” that has helped curb illegal immigration.

President Biden initially suspended the policy — officially known as the “Protocols to Protect Immigrants” but generally known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy — hours after taking office on January 20. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas formally terminated the program on June 1, but the state of Texas—U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Caxmaric, in August—ordered his reinstatement.

Kacsmaryk found in his ruling that the administration violated a federal law that outlines some of the steps government agencies must take when implementing policy. Specifically, he found that Mayorkas “failed to consider several key benefits” of the policy, including that it “reduces[ed] The number of aliens the Department of Homeland Security would have to detain by returning some aliens to Mexico.”

In the I issued an updated note on Friday To the heads of immigration agencies at the Department of Homeland Security, Mallorcas acknowledged: “I am aware that the MPP likely contributed to reducing immigration flows. But it did so by imposing significant and unjustified human costs on individuals who were harmed while waiting in Mexico.”

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden initially suspended the “Stay in Mexico” policy.
AP Photo / Susan Walsh, file

Mayorkas then insisted that the Biden administration “is pursuing a series of policies that discourage irregular migration while stimulating safe, orderly and humane pathways.”

“Once fully implemented, I believe these policies will address migration flows effectively, and indeed more effectively, while staying true to our nation’s values,” Mayorcas added.

Kacsmaryk also ordered the administration to make a “good faith” effort to restart and enforce the program until it is legally abolished and immigration officials have enough room to hold all illegal immigrants in detention.

Migrants sleep under a garden balcony in the Mexican border city of Reynosa, Saturday, March 27, 2021.
Migrants sleep under a garden balcony in the Mexican border city of Reynosa, Saturday, March 27, 2021.
AP Photo / Dario Lopez Mills

The White House suggested earlier this month that the program could be restarted as soon as mid-November, pending approval by the Mexican government for its participation. Mexico wants to end immigration cases in general within six months, as well as accurate and timely access to case information and improved access to legal counsel for asylum seekers.

Although Mayorcas wrote on Friday that “I have concluded that there are problems that are inherent in the program that no amount of resources can adequately fix,” the minister added that the administration will continue to comply with Caxmarik’s order until “as soon as practicable following a final court decision to rescind the order.” Texas”.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by Texas and Missouri challenging the order to end the policy. The administration is expected to request that the case be returned to Judge Kazmarek.

Meanwhile, the administration is rebuilding tent courts in the Texas border towns of Laredo and Brownsville to handle the expected influx of asylum seekers.

Mayorcas’ memo was sent a day after the Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration was considering paying nearly $1 billion to settle lawsuits filed by illegal immigrant families separated at the US-Mexico border under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. in 2018.

Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mallorcas
The Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mallorcas, officially ended the “Stay in Mexico” program on June 1.
Photograph: Evelyn Hochstein/Reuters

Republicans have criticized the report as the latest example of the Biden administration’s handling of illegal immigration and fueling a humanitarian crisis on the southern border.

with wire

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