Some White House officials reportedly viewed the Supreme Court’s decision last week upholding the Trump-era policy of staying in Mexico as a chance to slow the pace of President Biden’s immigration changes that they feared would did not trigger the crisis at the border.
Many of them, according to the New York Timeshad already considered narrowly reviving the policy of former President Donald Trump to stem the flow of migrants.
Officials saw the judges’ decision as a way to give Biden political cover to change his predecessor’s immigration policy without angering Democrats who have spoken out against those programs for the past four years.
Abandoning the Stay in Mexico program was one of several Trump immigration programs that Biden canceled or rescinded early in his administration – and which critics argue acted as a welcome invitation to migrants from Mexico and the countries of Central America.
There have been more than a million illegal border crossings this year, breaking records month after month.
“They’re stuck in a corner of their larger immigration agenda,” Doris Meissner, commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1993 to 2000, told The Times. “The only tools available in the short term are pretty much pure enforcement.”
Biden officials are also worried about the implications the out-of-control border situation would have on the midterm elections next fall.
“This desire to reverse Trump’s policies and to do so quickly has put the Biden administration in this difficult situation, which was not unpredictable and which is very sad to watch,” said Alan Bersin, who served as commissioner. customs and border protection in the Obama administration. told The Times.
Administration plans to revamp stay-in-Mexico policy to allow fewer asylum-seeking immigrants to wait in Mexico while their cases are processed through the courts — and provide them with better living conditions and access to lawyers, Reported Policy Monday.
The White House is discussing the policy change, which some are calling “Stay Mexico Light,” with Mexico to ensure it complies with the Supreme Court’s ruling and stays true to Biden’s campaign pledge of end the “inhuman” agenda, which he tried to do after taking office on January 20.
The Supreme Court upheld a federal judge’s order requiring the policy – officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols Program – to be reinstated.
The possibility that the stay-in-Mexico policy could be revived has some immigration advocates angry at Biden for backing down on his word to make the process more humane.
“One of his campaign promises was to end the MPP. He did that. He should stick to that,” Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, told Politico. “The answer isn’t just to find a softer, kinder MPP 2.0. It completely defeats its promise.
The Department of Homeland Security said it disagreed with the court’s decision and would appeal.
“As the appeals process continues, however, DHS will comply with the order in good faith,” he said. said in a press release.
“DHS remains committed to building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system that respects our laws and values,” he added.
Fluctuations in immigration policy have left migrants unsure of what to expect at the border.
“The most frustrating part of the past eight months has just been the ever changing policies and situations at the border, especially for asylum seekers as they are on the other side thinking that. .’if we wait, eventually Biden will open up’ open the ports of entry and let us in,” Robyn Barnard, senior refugee protection lawyer at Human Rights First, told Politico.