The Biden administration is again trying to end a Trump-era immigration policy many credited with dramatically reducing illegal border crossings.
The “Remain in Mexico” program was hailed by the previous administration as a major border security and immigration enforcement accomplishment, but the Biden administration has repeatedly tried to end it, only to be foiled by federal courts.
On Friday, however, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a 39-page memo seeking to rescind the policy for good, though the memo does not take effect right away.
“After carefully considering the arguments, evidence, and perspectives presented by those who support re-implementation of MPP, those who support terminating the program, and those who have argued for continuing MPP in a modified form, I have determined that MPP should be terminated,” Mayorkas wrote in his Friday memo.
“In reaching this conclusion, I recognize that MPP likely contributed to reduced migratory flows. But it did so by imposing substantial and unjustifiable human costs on the individuals who were exposed to harm while waiting in Mexico,” he wrote, saying the policy “fails to provide the fair process and humanitarian protections that all persons deserve.”
“The benefits of MPP are far outweighed by the costs of continuing to use the program on a programmatic basis, in whatever form,” Mayorkas added.
“MPP not only undercuts the Administration’s ability to implement critically needed and foundational changes to the immigration system, but it also fails to provide the fair process and humanitarian protections that all persons deserve,” the Homeland Security secretary said.
Earlier this month, the administration said it was preparing to reimplement the “Remain in Mexico” policy, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, in November after trying to revoke it earlier this year and losing federal legal challenges.
“In August, a U.S. District Court in Texas ordered the Biden administration to resume the policy, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it was ‘taking necessary steps to comply with the court order, which requires us to reimplement MPP in good faith,’” the Daily Wire reported.
“Also in August, the Supreme Court rejected the Biden Justice Department’s request to delay the reimplementation of the policy,” the outlet continued.
The Trump administration managed to implement the policy in agreement with Mexico in 2019 as a means of combatting migrant surges from the previous year.
But President Biden rescinded the policy on his first day in office, and then defended doing so quickly in March.
Biden said he did not regret moving quickly to roll back some of Trump’s executive orders. Biden suspended the “Remain in Mexico” policy on his first day in office.
“Rolling back the policies of separating children from their mothers, I make no apology for that. Rolling back the policies of ‘Remain in Mexico,’ sitting on the edge of the Rio Grande in a muddy circumstance with not enough to eat and — I make no apologies for that,” Biden said, claiming that Trump’s immigration programs have “an incredibly negative impact on the law, international law, as well as on human dignity.”