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The Department of Homeland Security said late Monday that it was preparing to quickly end the Trump-era “stay in Mexico” program and would no longer send asylum seekers back across the border. border to await a decision on their claims for U.S. protection.
The announcement came after U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk lifted his injunction preventing Biden officials from ending the program, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 30 that the Biden administration had the power to end the program, paving the way for DHS to finally end one of the administration’s most controversial border measures. Trump.
DHS officials said asylum seekers waiting in Mexico for their U.S. immigration court appointment would be allowed to cross the border on the day of their hearings and remain in the United States pending a decision.
” As a secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas said the MPP has endemic flaws, imposes unjustifiable human costs, and draws resources and personnel away from other priority efforts to secure our border,” the DHS statement read.
President Joe Biden quickly ended the program after taking office, but Kacsmaryk last fall sided with several Republican-led state officials who sued the administration to force a restart of the program. MPP. Between December and early July, about 5,800 asylum seekers were sent back to Mexico to await their court dates in the United States, according to the latest DHS. records show. Most were adults from Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Under President Donald Trump, his administration has used the MPP far more aggressively, returning nearly 70,000 people to Mexico after to negotiate the program with Mexican authorities and its implementation in late 2018. Trump officials said the returns were necessary to prevent migrants from using the U.S. asylum system to avoid detention and deportation.
Asylum seekers with pending claims are generally allowed to live and work in the United States while awaiting a response. The process can drag on for several years because US immigration courts are overwhelmed with backlogs.
The MPP has been vilified by immigration advocates who have reported documented assaults, kidnappings and other crimes against asylum seekers returned to dangerous Mexican border towns or stranded in a notorious tent camp along the Rio Grande.
In its decision, the Supreme Court determined in a 5-4 opinion that Kacsmaryk went too far in requiring Biden to maintain policies that violate his ability to enforce immigration laws and shape foreign policy, being given that the MPP relied on agreements with Mexico.
DHS officials said they would provide more information about their preparations to end the program “in the coming days.”
“MPP registrants should follow the instructions on their court documents and tear-off sheets to appear on the scheduled court date, as required,” the statement said.
Maria Sacchetti and Robert Barnes contributed to this report.
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