Biden formally ends Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ immigration program

The Biden administration on Tuesday formally nixed the “Remain in Mexico” program, the latest in a series of moves to dismantle the Trump administration’s restrictive immigration policies.

The program, known formally as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), was a cornerstone of Trump’s border management policy; it forced potential asylum seekers to stay in Mexico to wait out the result of their case in U.S. immigration court.

In a memo ending the program Tuesday, Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the MPP did not help with enhancing the border management.

The move was first reported by Reuters.

President Biden paused MPP shortly after taking office on Jan. 20, and has allowed into the country around 11,000 people who were in the program according to Reuters.

The formal end of MPP comes days after the Department of Homeland Security officially banned family separations for prosecutions of illegal border crossings, another Trump administration policy designed to slow the asylum process.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif), chairwoman of the Homeland Security subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations, released a joint statement Tuesday applauding the announcement.

“This policy was a stain on our nation’s history and our longstanding tradition of protecting refugees and asylum seekers,” Thompson and Barragán wrote.

“Despite Republican efforts to misrepresent U.S. asylum law and smear those fleeing violence and seeking asylum, we must remember that it is completely legal to come to the U.S. border and seek asylum. While the process has been underway to dismantle MPP and bring asylum seekers in the country, more still needs to be done to help those hurt by the policy and we look forward to working with the Administration on those efforts. We must ensure we have a just and humane asylum processing system,” they added.

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Olafimihan Oshin & Rafael Bernal