Biden begins dismantling Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' asylum policy

Pablo Tucker
February 15, 2021

Around 25,000 migrants are now waiting at the border under the programme, DHS said.

"We think it's good that they don't build any more walls", said Lopez Obrador, noting that several past USA presidents have extended border barriers during their terms. Mr. Biden vowed on the campaign trail to roll back restrictive Trump-era immigration policies, including MPP, which is informally known as "remain in Mexico".

After President Biden took office on January 20, his administration announced that it would reverse the most controversial measures and created a task force to reunite families that remain separated, calling it a "national shame".

"As President Biden has made clear, the US government is committed to rebuilding a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system", Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.

Lopez Obrador also urged US -bound migrants to hold back from seeking to cross illegally just because of the change in presidents.

"Beginning on 19 February, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin phase one of a program to restore safe and orderly processing at the southwest border", the agency announced in a statement.

Those waiting "should not approach the border until instructed to do so", officials said.

Progressive critics worry that moving from a communication process reliant on physical addresses to an internet and phone-based system might not solve the problem of vulnerable migrants being denied a chance in court. One of the organizations will also handle coronavirus testing in Mexico, another official said.

Chinese officials have expressed some optimism bilateral relations will improve under Biden and have urged Washington to meet Beijing halfway. However, a spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said the refugee agency would work with both the U.S. and Mexican governments to ensure migrants in the program could safely enter the United States.

There will initially be three ports where asylum cases will be reprocessed, which expect to process up to 300 people a day, according to USA Today. Administration officials declined to name them out of fear they may encourage a rush of people to those locations.

Migrants entering the United States through the program will not be placed in detention centers, but could be subject to an alternative form of monitoring, including ankle bracelets.

A Mexican migrant covers her face with a blanket as she and others camp at a park while waiting to apply for asylum in the USA, in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on 17 December 2019, the day before the International Migrants Day.

In the meantime, the Biden administration has failed to provide simple answers on its plan to protect the border.

The congressman seized on reports that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had been forced to allow some migrants into the country as the rate of new arrivals increased and Mexico refused to direct those with children under 12 into already-overcrowded camps.

Other reports by iNewsToday