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Biden restarts ‘Remain in Mexico’ program

Last week, the Biden Administration reinstated the infamous Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), commonly referred to as “Remain in Mexico.” Under the program, asylum seekers attempting to enter the United States at the southern border must remain in Mexico until they are called for a hearing.


The Biden Administration had previously tried to terminate the Remain in Mexico policy.  On January 20, 2021, the day President Biden took office, DHS suspended new enrollments in MPP and said no new arrivals would be sent back to Mexico. In February 2021, the new administration began winding down MPP and processing those who had been forced to wait in Mexico, in many cases for more than one year. In August, however, a Texas federal court ruled that the administration was required to make a good faith effort to reinstate the program until it was formally rescinded in compliance with the Administrative Procedures Act and immigration officials had space to hold detained individuals.  The Supreme Court declined to halt the order during the appeals process.


The relaunch of the program took place after the U.S. and Mexico reached a new bilateral agreement.  Mexico has agreed to provide more resources and services for persons forced to wait in Mexico, and the U.S. has agreed to process cases within 6 months and work with the Northern Triangle countries to reduce the flow of emigrants.

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