Aug 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden to end "Remain in Mexico" border policy after court order

Migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the US, walk from Huixtla to Escuintla, Chiapas state, Mexico, on June 9.
Migrants bound for the U.S. walk in Chiapas state, Mexico, in June. Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration moved on Monday to suspend the Trump-era "Remain in Mexico" policy.

Driving the news: U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk earlier on Monday lifted an injunction that required the Department of Homeland Security to resume the policy, formally called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

  • Justice Department lawyers requested the Trump-appointed Kacsmaryk take the action in light of the Supreme Court's decision earlier this summer to dismiss legal points that Republican officials in Missouri and Texas raised, which he upheld in his ruling last year, per CBS News.

What they're saying: "DHS is committed to ending the court-ordered implementation of MPP in a quick, and orderly, manner," the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.

  • "Individuals are no longer being newly enrolled into MPP, and individuals currently in MPP in Mexico will be disenrolled when they return for their next scheduled court date," the DHS continued.
  • "Individuals disenrolled from MPP will continue their removal proceedings in the United States."
  • As Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has said, "MPP has endemic flaws, imposes unjustifiable human costs, and pulls resources and personnel away from other priority efforts to secure our border," the DHS added.

The big picture: The Trump administration implemented the MPP program in early 2019, when border crossings exceeded 100,000 per month.

  • It forced tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to wait out lengthy U.S. immigration court processes in Mexico, Axios' Stef Kight and Oriana Gonzalez note.
  • Some 70,000 asylum seekers were returned to Mexico to wait out court hearings between the start of MPP in January 2019 and the program's initial suspension after President Biden took office.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with further context.

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