A setback for Biden’s asylum plans
It is quite evident that the Biden administration has moved forward in leaps and bounds when it comes to its immigration plans and proposals. Since January 2021, the current administration of the US has focused on removing and lifting certain restrictions implemented by former President Trump and has also proposed courses of action to have a new approach to the immigration sector in general.
However, the Biden administration has also faced challenges and legal proceedings, which have delayed or intercepted its immigration goals. To give a specific example, a Texas judge recently ordered Biden to reimplement the policy called MPP (Migrant Protection Protocols), or “Remain in Mexico”, which was initially implemented by Trump in 2019 and affected hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers.
Under the MPP policy, asylum seekers must remain in Mexico until they receive a response to their immigration cases, which can take a considerable period of time. Since asylum seekers are people fleeing precarious situations to seek international assistance in the US, they lived in truly risky situations in Mexican territory.
Biden had rescinded this policy, but the Texas judge’s order, which was recently upheld and defended by the Supreme Court, is a giant setback for his administration.
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The Biden administration discusses means to reimplement the MPP
Following the Supreme Court’s verdict, the Biden administration is discussing how to, on the one hand, respect and fulfill its immigration promises, and, on the other hand, comply with the order to reinstate the MPP policy.
According to a recent Politico report, the Biden administration is analyzing the possibility of implementing a “more humane version” of the “Remain in Mexico” program. According to sources close to the discussions, the current administration plans to:
- Decrease the number of asylum seekers enrolled in this program.
- Improve living conditions for asylum seekers who must remain in Mexico under this policy.
- Make agreements with Mexican authorities to expedite the processing of asylum cases and protect the integrity of vulnerable migrants.
- Implement a simpler, softer version of the MPP policy, which has been labeled “arbitrary, capricious, inhumane and draconian”.
Clearly, several immigrant rights advocates and humanitarian organizations have criticized the Biden administration for accepting the Supreme Court’s order, knowing that the MPP policy will always affect asylum seekers regardless of how it is implemented.
You may also be interested in: Analysis: “Remain in Mexico” Program from its Beginning
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