Under court order, Trump-era politics is being carried out with new protocols.
Biden administration officials further outlined a plan for implementing the “MPP” or “Stay in Mexico” policy during a conference call with reporters on Monday, while stressing their commitment to ending the program and outlining safeguards designed to improve conditions for registered asylum seekers.
A central criticism of the MPP program – which bars asylum seekers from entering the US while immigration courts consider their claims – was the lack of access to US legal services for enrollees forced into camps makeshift at the Mexican border. Now, the Biden administration is working with legal service providers and promising 24-hour consultation windows to facilitate screening interviews and immigration court cases.
The Justice Department’s Executive Office of Immigration Review is working to increase rates of legal representation for asylum seekers while distributing “self-help materials” to immigrant applicants who need help. process information.
Improving conditions south of the border was another element in gaining the cooperation of the Mexican government. US aid workers have set up WiFi access in shelters and Mexican authorities have tightened security, including at transport hubs.
Now, MPP-registered migrants will have access to transportation services at the port of entry, which Biden administration officials have said is a necessary security measure given the level of crime taking place at border crossings.
Over the holidays, the Biden administration submitted a request to the Supreme Court for expedited briefings on the case to end the MPP. The administration previously lost appeals from lower courts against efforts to reinstate the protocols.
Under the latest version of the MPP, migrants who are interviewed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will be judged on whether there is a “reasonable possibility” that they fear to return to Mexico rather than the previously used and more restrictive “more likely than not” methods. ” Standard.
The new standards are accessible to those like the group of 36 migrants brought to El Paso on Monday for court hearings, making them the first to be processed under the new rules.
Officials did not provide information on the number of asylum seekers subject to the MPP as part of the Biden administration’s latest implementation efforts, but they did confirm that registrations have begun in areas of ‘El Paso and San Diego.
A senior Biden administration official estimated on Monday that the program was costing the U.S. government more than “tens of millions of dollars.”