Things That Matter

President Biden Promised To End Trump’s ‘Remain In Mexico’ Policy. So Why Is He Restarting It?

The former president’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, have long been decried as cruel and inhumane. The rule forces some of the most vulnerable people seeking asylum in the United States to wait out their legal process on the Mexican side of the border.

Border camps, migrant detention centers, and the border towns themselves are some of the most dangerous places in Mexico. Cartels and coyotes have taken advantage of migrants and refugees waiting on the Mexican side of the border, leading to violent clashes and deaths.

Now, even though President Biden campaigned on his promise to end the deplorable U.S. policy, his administration is now planning to restart it as soon as next month. Here’s why.

Biden administration set to reinstate cruel ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy.

President Biden says his administration is ready to reinstate Trump’s inhumane ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy as soon as next month – if it can get the Mexican government to agree to the program. But, of course, the Mexican government is a sovereign nation and has concerns about the policy that could still stop the program from being reinstated.

The Mexican government “has made clear that it expects to see substantial improvements in how MPP is reimplemented before it can make its decision,” a senior border official, Blas Nuñez-Neto, told the court.

In a call with the media, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the agency would work to reduce some of the effects implemented under the previous administration, which saw many migrants simply give up on their cases after lengthy waits in dangerous refugee camps along the border.

It also plans to expand the types of asylum-seekers who will not be subjected to MPP, but the filing doesn’t provide details on who that would include, such as families with children. Mexico has argued that the sick, elderly, as well as those in the LGBT community, should be exempt from MPP.

The policy move comes following a court ruling that forced the administration’s hand.

First, a district judge in Texas ordered the Biden administration to restart the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, which was appealed to the Supreme Court. The nation’s highest court then upheld the decision, forcing officials to restore the policy that Biden himself said was inhumane.

Officials are already working to construct several new ‘tent cities’ along the border, where asylum seekers will appear for hearings via videoconference.

According to DHS, the administration is preparing a new memo to formally end MPP but would not be able to move forward until the court ruling is lifted.

Many advocacy groups are disappointed with the announcement.

According to Buzzfeed News, one of the immigrant advocacy groups involved in talks with the administration said, “There is no improved version of MPP. It is not possible to make the inhumane humane, the unfair fair, or to breathe life into a deadly program. We refuse to be complicit in deterrence-based border policies … We cannot allow our efforts to help the victims of these policies to be used in any way to prolong them.”

Although it seems like this cruel policy is the law of the land, there are steps we can all take to fight back.

  • Tell your representatives to stand with migrants and refugees
    • One of the first things you should do is contact your representatives in Congress ,and urge them to support migrant and refugee rights. People arriving at the U.S. border have the right to request asylum—without being criminalized, forcibly returned to dangerous conditions, or separated from their children. Tell them to stand on the right side of history.
  • Donate to support your favorite advocacy group at the border
  • Spread the word about what’s really happening
    • Families from Central America embark on the journey to the U.S. because they are absolutely desperate and must escape, despite the dangers of the journey and the fear of detention. Educate your family and friends about what is actually happening at the border, why seeking asylum is legal, and why thousands of people are fleeing to the U.S. from Central America by sharing the facts.

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