On Monday, the Biden administration quietly ended the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy, paving the way for potentially tens of thousands more migrants to enter the United States.
In a late-night statement, the Department of Homeland Security said it would no longer enroll asylum seekers in the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program — which has forced an estimated 70,000 people south of the border for the past three years waiting for their immigration hearings. .
Migrants currently in the program will be “opted out” when they return to the United States for their next court appearance and further deportation proceedings will take place in the United States, DHS added.
“The MPP has endemic flaws, imposes unjustifiable human costs, and draws resources and personnel away from other priority efforts to secure our border,” the department said in a statement.
Former President Donald Trump first implemented the MPP in early 2019, as the number of encounters with migrants jumped by more than 100,000 a month. (Since October 1 of last year, the average number of encounters has exceeded 194,000.)
The Biden administration has repeatedly tried to end the policy, but U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled in December 2021 that the White House failed to follow proper procedure and ordered the administration to make a good faith effort to enforce the MPP while the case makes its way through the courts.
On June 30, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the White House could end the program over objection from Republican-run states.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his majority opinion that “nothing prevents an agency from taking further agency action while simultaneously appealing an adverse judgment against its original action”.
On Monday, Kacsmaryk lifted his injunction demanding that “Stay in Mexico” remain in place.
Nearly 5,800 people were subjected to the policy from December to June, leading critics to claim that the Biden administration was barely enforcing the policy despite Kacsmaryk’s injunction. Nicaraguans make up the largest number, with others from Cuba, Colombia and Venezuela.
The Biden administration has long insisted that the MPP fails to deter migration, exposes migrants to unnecessary risk and limits the executive branch’s right to manage borders.
Republicans have warned that lifting the MPP will lead to an increase in migration from already historic levels along the southern border.
The Biden administration and Republican state attorneys general have repeatedly fought in court over White House efforts to roll back several of Trump’s border policies — including Title 42, which allowed border officials to rapidly deporting thousands of migrants due to health problems without hearing asylum claims. .
A federal judge in Louisiana ordered Title 42 upheld last May.
Since October 1, 2021, border officials have recorded a record number of migrant encounters across the United States, particularly along the US-Mexico border, which has already recorded the highest number of encounters over the past only one exercise so far.
In June alone, US Customs and Border Protection reported 207,416 migrant stops at the southern border.
The surge has made immigration a hot issue, with a new Gallup survey revealing a plurality of Americans want to see levels fall for the first time since 2014.