Biden Administration to revive Trump-era "Remain in Mexico" policy

The Biden administration was reluctant to resume the policy pursuant to a court order.
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Texas migrant detention facility.
Migrant detention facility, March 30, 2021 in Donna, Texas.
(Dario Lopez-Mills - Pool/Getty Images)

The "Remain in Mexico" policy will resume, according to an announcement Thursday from the Biden Administration following a court order. This will force migrants to wait in Mexico until their immigration hearings starting "on or around" Dec. 6.

The policy, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), was introduced by then-President Donald Trump in January 2019, and illegal crossings dropped dramatically.

Shortly after entering office, President Joe Biden suspended "Remain in Mexico." Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has attempted to terminate it since, but efforts have stalled in court.

The Homeland Security memo shows the administration is to reimplement the program, stressing that the MPP is only being revived due to court order.

"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 memo states.

The administration is working with the Mexican government to provide migrants with better access to attorneys, COVID-19 vaccines and protection in Mexico, the Associated Press reports. 

Migrants who fall under the MPP and are currently in the U.S. will be sent to an unnamed Mexican border city. Those from particularly dangerous border areas will be returned to areas deeper inside Mexico.