Mexico will allow the US reorganization of its asylum policy in Mexico because the US 'Remain in Mexico' policy will be used to keep it that way
The Biden administration has reached a settlement with the Mexican government to restart the Trump-era Remain in Mexico program that requires asylum seekers to wait outside US territory while their claims are processed, according to US and Mexican officials.
US officials said in a separate court filing that the implementation of the program, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, will begin Monday at one border area and rapidly expand to seven cities. A federal judge in Texas ordered the Biden administration to negotiate the MPP reinstatement with Mexican authorities in August.
Mexico has demanded a number of humanitarian improvements as conditions of accepting applicants, added one US official, including guarantees that asylum seekers will have access to legal counsel and that their humanitarian claims will be processed within six months.
These are improvements we agree with," the official stated, and the secretary also discussed reporters on the basis of anonymity under strict homeland security regulations.
Mexico's Foreign Ministry stated in a statement that it would allow asylum seekers processed under the MPP to remain on Mexican soil for humanitarian reasons and on a temporary basis.
The Biden administration, which is still formally planning to terminate the program, even as it brings it back under court order, has no choice but to return the MPP.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has repeatedly stated that MPP has endemic flaws, imposed unjustifiable human costs, pulled resources and personnel away from other priority efforts, and failed to address the root causes of irregular migration, the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.
The Trump administration successfully took advantage of the MPP program to send more than 60,000 asylum seekers to Mexico, where they were frequently imprisoned by criminal gangs, extortionists, and kidnappers. President Biden denied the MPP as unabolic and promptly ended it after taking office, but Republican officials in Texas and Missouri sued the administration.
According to a Trump appointee, US District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ordered the Biden administration to restart the MPP in August, faulting the White House for abandoning it without considering the consequences, while acknowledging that it might return only with Mexico's consent.
The Biden administration had a dispute, but the Supreme Court rejected the decision, allowing US officials to reach a settlement with Mexico.
According to a recent agreement, the Biden administration will give coronavirus vaccination doses to asylum seekers who have been placed in the MPP program under the terms of the new agreement. Adults will be offered the Johnson & Johnson vaccination, and eligible minors will be able to receive the two-dose Pfizer regimen.
According to the officials, the shots would not be mandatory, and will be provided to migrants in US Border Patrol stations by an independent contractor.
Mexico officials have warned the court that MPP enrollees will be granted temporary legal status and work permits as well as shelters and safe transportation to and from the border to assist their court hearings.
According to Biden officials, the Ministry of Justice has appointed 22 immigration judges to supervise the MPP restart and ensure claims are submitted quickly to comply with the 180-day deadline. Biden officials said they have added additional safeguards to the MPP to exempt the most vulnerable migrants and ask asylum seekers if there's a possibility they could face persecution or torture in Mexico.
According to one official, officials in the United States are aiming to utilize the MPP program initially for single-adult immigrants, who account for the majority of illegal border crossings. Mexico is willing to accept asylum seekers from Spanish-speaking nations, like the previous version of the program, but migrants from all Western Hemisphere nations' will be eligible for return, according to one administration official.
The Biden administration will continue to use the Title 42 public health law, which allows US authorities to rapidly expel' most border crossers as its primary border management tool. In recent weeks, the administration has increased the percentage of migrants returning to Mexico or sent home on expulsion flights under Title 42, which generally does not give asylum seekers a chance to seek for US humanitarian protections.
The restart of the MPP would likely begin with a limited number of returnees and ramp up, but the two nations are still laying out additional operational details. Temporary "tent courts'' in the Texas cities of Brownsville and Laredo have been under construction but may not be fully ready to begin hearings next week, one official stated.
The administration stated that the MPP will soon expand to Brownsville, Laredo, Eagle Pass, and El Paso, Texas; Nogales, Ariz.; and San Diego and Calexico, Calif. Court hearings will be held in Brownsville, Laredo, El Paso, and San Diego, according to the officials.
Mexico did little to assist or protect tens of thousands of migrants waiting for asylum applications to be processed when the initiative was originally implemented under the Trump administration. Many of them stayed in tent camps, shelters, or rented apartments in some of the country's most dangerous towns.