Immigration: Biden plots rollback of Trump-era ‘Stay in Mexico’ policy for migrants

President Joe Biden has pledged to end the policy, informally known as “Stay in Mexico.” Over the past week, the administration has had ongoing discussions about when to start slowly admitting migrants, many of whom are seeking asylum, to the United States, two officials said.

A draft internal document highlighted the importance of considering health and safety protocols, according to two Homeland Security officials, and said admissions would likely begin at two locations yet to be announced.

No timetable has been set for when the change will take place or how many migrants would initially be eligible.

DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Under former President Donald Trump, migrants from Central America and other parts of the world who sought asylum at the US-Mexico border were forced to stay in Mexico until their court hearings. immigration to the United States. This 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 as they passed through their immigration hearings in the United States.

Admitting migrants subject to Trump-era politics is a complicated undertaking, given the vulnerability of the population and the difficulties in communicating the process and expectations.
Homeland Security Secretary Ali Mayorkas told CNN earlier this month that he had been involved in discussions about ending the policy of staying in Mexico.

“The urgency of this also cannot be overstated,” he said.

In search of a “fair and equitable” solution

Ongoing discussions have focused on how to find a “fair and equitable way” to begin bringing people back to the United States, a DHS official said, adding that one option is to place people who have d first treated under the front-line program. .

It also raises questions about how the United States treats new arrivals and what happens to people who have been waiting for months, the official said, adding that the discussions also took into account Covid-19 precautions.

Under the Trump administration, there was a task force to assess whether virtual hearings could be held for pending migrants in Mexico, but they never came up with a “workable solution,” the DHS official told CNN.

The pandemic has closed immigration courts and delayed cases, forcing migrants to stay in Mexico for longer periods of time and fueling frustration for those who have been waiting for a long time.

The official said that while the “Trump-era program appears to have a political orientation, it was done ‘out of necessity,’ warning that if the new administration ends the program and others, the U.S. Border Patrol will likely release more migrants into the But immigrant advocates and lawyers have argued the program puts migrants at risk.

In his first hours in office, Biden stopped enrolling new migrants in the program.


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