The Biden administration is attempting to restore the “Remain in Mexico” policy on the southern border next month, although the restoration would require Mexico’s approval.
A U.S. District Court in Texas ruled that the administration’s attempt to nix the “Remain in Mexico” policy violated the Administrative Procedure Act, requiring that the administration reinstate it. Formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols and instituted by the Trump administration, the policy requires asylum-seekers who cross the southern border illegally to wait in Mexico before appearing in immigration court.
The Department of Homeland Security is “taking necessary steps to comply with the court order, which requires us to reimplement MPP in good faith,” the agency said in a statement on Thursday.
“Mexico is a sovereign nation that must make an independent decision to accept the return of individuals without status in Mexico as part of any reimplementation of MPP,” the agency said. “Discussions with the Government of Mexico concerning when and how MPP will be reimplemented are ongoing.”
Mexico wants asylum cases to conclude within six months and to give asylum-seekers subject to the policy better access to legal representation and information on their cases, according to a Justice Department court filing on Thursday.
Thursday’s announcement by the DHS comes after the department said in September that it would again attempt to end the “Remain in Mexico” policy. DHS said that any new attempt to end the policy “will not take effect until the current injunction is lifted by court order.”
Border Patrol agents encountered 212,672 migrants crossing the southern border in July and 208,887 migrants in August, marking the first time in two decades that monthly border crossings topped 200,000.