Shortly after President Joe Biden took office, the Department of Homeland Security suspended new enrollments in the program officially known as Migrant Protection Protocols. The department then began the process of phasing asylum seekers previously under the program in the United States. Between February 19 and May 25, about 11,200 migrants were transferred to the United States, according to Mayorkas’ memo on Tuesday.
Mayorkas said he determined the policy, informally known as “stay in Mexico,” had “mixed effectiveness.”
“I direct DHS personnel to take all appropriate action to terminate the MPP, including taking all necessary action to rescind any implementation guidelines and other directives or policy directives issued to implement the program” , Mayorkas wrote to the heads of the three DHS immigration agencies.
Immigrant advocates applauded the move on Tuesday, calling it a “huge victory”. “The forced return policy was cruel, depraved and illegal, and we are glad it was finally reversed,” said Judy Rabinovitz, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union and lead attorney in a case challenging the policy.
Under President Donald Trump, migrants from Central America and other parts of the world seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border have been forced to stay in Mexico until their immigration court hearings in the United States. United States, often in dangerous cities. According to DHS, approximately 68,000 migrants were returned to Mexico under this policy.
For those subjected to the policy, that meant waiting months, even years, in squalid conditions and under threat of extortion, sexual assault and kidnapping.
The policy was an unprecedented departure from previous protocols, which allowed entry of migrants during their immigration hearings in the United States.