Friday, August 19, 2022

The Restart of “Remain in Mexico” Policy Fuels Immigration Advocates’ Frustration

This week, the Biden administration reintroduced the Trump-era border policy “Remain in Mexico.” This policy allows officials to send non-Mexican migrants to Mexico while they await their U.S. immigration court hearings.

Many immigrant advocates had prepared for the court-ordered relaunch, but despite promises made by the Biden administration to be transparent, advocates remain frustrated amongst further confusion.

Thousands of migrants were subject to the program under the Trump administration, which was formally known as Migrant Protection Protocols. Many migrants resided in temporary camps along Mexico’s northern border.

President Biden had pledged to end the program and had already begun the process of admitting migrants into the country who had been subjected to it. A Texas federal judge stopped those plans when he ordered the administration to restore the policy. As part of the restart, the Biden administration has promised to make important changes such as improving access to lawyers before and during their interviews as well as before court hearings in the U.S.

However, attorneys say it’s unclear how migrants will be able to reach them and if they have enough capacity to serve those subjected to the policy.

According to Customs and Border Protection, there is a 30-person limit per day in El Paso. As the policy expands to other locations along the U.S. – Mexico border, enrollments are expected to increase.

In a statement composed by the Round Table of Former Immigration judges, which consists of 51 judges and members of the Board of Immigration Appeals, they criticized the Biden administration for restarting the contentious policy.

The statement said, “tragically, to comply with a most misguided court order, the Biden administration, which promised us better, is today not only resuming the program with most of its cruelty intact but expanding its scope to now apply to nationals of all Western Hemisphere countries.”

CNN