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White House Renews Bid to End ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy


The Biden administration launched a second bid Friday to finish a Trump-era coverage to make asylum-seekers wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration courts, whereas additionally reaffirming a dedication to reinstate it below courtroom order.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated the “Remain in Mexico” coverage seemingly contributed to a drop in unlawful border crossings in 2019 however with “substantial and unjustifiable human costs” to asylum-seekers who have been uncovered to violence whereas ready in Mexico.

The announcement got here greater than two months after a federal decide ordered that the coverage be reinstated “in good faith,” whereas leaving a gap for the administration to strive once more to justify ending it.

The administration stated earlier this month that it anticipated to reinstate the coverage, recognized formally as “Migrant Protection Protocols,” round mid-November, topic to Mexican authorities approval. Mexico desires circumstances to usually conclude inside six months, well timed and correct entry to case info, and higher entry to authorized counsel for asylum-seekers.

Some of the administration’s most outstanding pro-immigration allies say the time it took for Mayorkas to draft Friday’s opinion confirmed an absence of sense of urgency, which U.S. officers dispute.

Many U.S.-based authorized support teams who’ve represented asylum-seekers ready in Mexico say they’ll not take such circumstances, elevating questions on how the U.S. can fulfill Mexico’s insistence on higher entry to counsel. Administration officers say they imagine there are sufficient different attorneys who will symbolize asylum-seekers despatched again to Mexico.

Begun in January 2019

About 70,000 asylum-seekers have been topic to the coverage, which Republican President Donald Trump launched in January 2019 and his successor, Joe Biden, a Democrat, suspended on his first day in office. Mayorkas ended the coverage in June after an inside review, saying it achieved “mixed effectiveness.”

Illegal border crossings fell sharply after Mexico, dealing with Trump’s menace of upper tariffs, acquiesced in 2019 to the coverage’s fast enlargement. Many asylum-seekers have been victims of main violence whereas ready in Mexico and confronted a slew of authorized obstacles, corresponding to entry to attorneys and case info.

Mayorkas stated Friday that his second review assumed the coverage prompted a major drop in border crossings, calling it the strongest argument to preserve it. Still, he stated advantages don’t outweigh prices in phrases of relations with Mexico, resources and dangers related to publicity to violence whereas ready in Mexican border cities.

“[There] are inherent problems with the program that no amount of resources can sufficiently fix,” he wrote. “Others cannot be addressed without detracting from key Administration priorities and more enduring solutions.”

A 3-judge panel of the fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by the states of Texas and Missouri. The administration is predicted to ask that the case be returned to U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee in Amarillo, Texas, who ordered in August that the coverage be reinstated.

The administration is rebuilding tent courts in Texas border cities of Laredo and Brownsville to deal with “Remain in Mexico” circumstances.