The U.S. will allow asylum seekers whose claims were denied or dismissed due to a missed court date under the Trump administration “Remain in Mexico” policy to seek refuge again.
Under the Remain in Mexico policy, or Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), asylum seekers were required to wait in Mexico for their court dates before entering the U.S. On Wednesday, those migrants whose asylum claims were denied or dismissed after they missed a court date will be able to begin registering for another shot.
The move amounts to a significant step by the Biden administration to reverse the effects of Trump-era policies they’ve deemed inhumane.
“As part of our continued effort to restore safe, orderly, and humane processing at the Southwest Border, DHS will expand the pool of MPP-enrolled individuals who are eligible for processing into the United States,” a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson told Fox News. “Beginning June 23, 2021, DHS will include MPP enrollees who had their cases terminated or were ordered removed in absentia (i.e., individuals ordered removed while not present at their hearings). DHS will continue to process for entry into the United States MPP enrollees with pending proceedings.”
US BEGINS ADMITTING MIGRANTS FROM MEXICO, AS BIDEN ADMINISTRATION WINDS DOWN TRUMP-ERA POLICY
It’s not clear how many people will be eligible for entry into the U.S. under the program.
Nearly 40,000 cases were denied or dismissed, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. It’s unknown how many cases were denied for failing to appear in court, or how many stayed in the Mexico border region.
A DHS official told AP the Biden administration is aware of concerns the move might draw those who have left the region to make the dangerous journey across Mexico again and is considering taking responsibility for bringing people into the U.S. as they await their claims.
BIDEN EXPANDS ENTRY OF MIGRANTS KEPT IN MEXICO UNDER TRUMP
Biden ended MPP immediately upon taking the presidency, and began what his administration called a “phased” entry of migrants into the U.S. Officials said approximately 25,000 migrants were waiting in Mexico as part of MPP.
Proponents said it stopped the pull factors bringing migrants north, and was effective in weeding out illegitimate asylum claims. But critics claimed it was cruel and designed to close the border — pointing also to squalid conditions in camps set up on the Mexican side of the border.
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After scrapping the program, the administration set up a virtual registration system, where migrants are given a date and time to appear at a staging site in Mexico, before being transported to a point of entry.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.