The application of the “Remain in Mexico” program, which keeps asylum seekers in Mexico while awaiting their hearings in immigration court across the border, was extended to San Diego on Monday.
The Trump-era policy, officially called “migrant protection protocols,” was scrapped last summer by the new administration but reinstated following a federal judge’s order that the program had been unduly interrupted.
That injunction was upheld by an appeals court, though last week the Biden administration filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to end the program. Federal authorities began enforcing the policy again in Texas last month, and its reenforcement began Monday in San Diego.
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of San Diego and Imperial Counties released a statement on Monday regarding the local Remain in Mexico reboot, which called on the Biden administration to permanently end the program.
“We call on President Biden to keep his word and take all steps available to his administration to restore access to asylum at the border,” he added.
the statement read.
“We urge the administration to permanently terminate Stay in Mexico and immediately reverse all other policies that impede access to asylum, including Title 42 – another unfair policy that sends people back to the border under the guise of public health.”
The ACLU and other immigrant rights organizations have alleged that the practice endangers asylum seekers who are forced to wait in Mexico for long periods of time while their case progresses through the US court system.
According to the ACLU, more than 70,000 migrants have been returned to Mexico under
the previous administration.
“Re-implementing this expanded Stay in Mexico program in San Diego will needlessly subject many more people seeking asylum to trauma, suffering and violations of legality,” the ACLU said. continue unless ‘Stay in Mexico’ is completely finished.”