President Biden is set to reinstate the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” immigration program as early as next week after multiple attempts to end the policy, according to reports.
Migrant adults enrolled in the program will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine – a change in the appearance of politics under former President Trump, according to Axioswho quoted two government immigration officials.
Vaccines cannot be required, and it is unclear where in the asylum process migrants would receive the shots.
El Paso and Brownsville, Texas, as well as San Diego, California, will be the first cities to see the policy reinstated, the outlet reported.
“As we have previously stated, we are required by court order to reapply the MPP,” a DHS spokesperson said. told Fox Newsreferring to the policy’s official name “Migrant Protection Protocols”.
“As per the court order, we are working to get the MPP back in place as quickly as possible. We cannot do this until we have independent agreement from the Government of Mexico to accept those we seek to enroll in the MPP. We will communicate to the court and the public the timing of the re-enforcement when we are ready to do so. »
The so-called “Stay in Mexico” policy was initially suspended under Biden just hours after he took office in January. It was officially terminated in early June by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
However, in August, Texas District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled that the administration must reinstate the policy, which requires asylum seekers along the southern US border to stay in Mexico until have their case heard.
The Biden administration again tried to end the program last month, while acknowledging that the policy “probably helped reduce migration flows.”
In a memo, Mayorkas noted that his department sees “inherent problems in the program that no amount of resources can sufficiently address,” but said the administration would abide by Kacsmaryk’s decision.
Restarting the program also relies on cooperation from Mexico.
In October, the White House noted that it was awaiting agreement from the Mexican government before relaunching the policy. The neighboring country wants immigration cases to be closed within six months, to ensure quick and accurate access to case information and allow easier access to a lawyer for migrants seeking asylum.
At the time, reports emerged that Mexican officials said no decision had been made, with the country’s foreign ministry saying it had a “number of concerns”.
Earlier this month, the White House hosted the North American Leaders Summit where Biden met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Although the US-Mexico border has seen a historic number of crossings and arrests along the border this year, the growing migrant crisis has not been the focus of the summit.
Instead, López Obrador urged new US migration rules to facilitate legal labor exchanges, calling on Congress to approve Biden’s plan to grant conditional amnesty to most of the estimated 11 million people living illegally in the United States. United States.
Ahead of a private meeting between Biden and the Mexican president, administration officials specifically noted that the two leaders would not discuss — even privately — restarting the “Remain in Mexico” policy.