A draft internal document highlighted the importance of considering health and safety protocols, according to two Homeland Security officials, and said admissions would likely begin at two locations yet to be announced.
No timetable has been set for when the change will take place or how many migrants would initially be eligible.
DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The policy was an unprecedented departure from previous protocols, which allowed entry of migrants as they passed through their immigration hearings in the United States.
“The urgency of this also cannot be overstated,” he said.
In search of a “fair and equitable” solution
Ongoing discussions have focused on how to find a “fair and equitable way” to begin bringing people back to the United States, a DHS official said, adding that one option is to place people who have d first treated under the front-line program. .
It also raises questions about how the United States treats new arrivals and what happens to people who have been waiting for months, the official said, adding that the discussions also took into account Covid-19 precautions.
Under the Trump administration, there was a task force to assess whether virtual hearings could be held for pending migrants in Mexico, but they never came up with a “workable solution,” the DHS official told CNN.
The pandemic has closed immigration courts and delayed cases, forcing migrants to stay in Mexico for longer periods of time and fueling frustration for those who have been waiting for a long time.
The official said that while the “Trump-era program appears to have a political orientation, it was done ‘out of necessity,’ warning that if the new administration ends the program and others, the U.S. Border Patrol will likely release more migrants into the But immigrant advocates and lawyers have argued the program puts migrants at risk.
In his first hours in office, Biden stopped enrolling new migrants in the program.