Asylum seekers demonstrate at the San Ysidro border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, praying and listening to speeches on March 26. File Photo by Ariana Drehsler/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 29 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden's administration is again attempting to end the so-called Remain in Mexico policy despite a court order earlier this year enforcing the immigration action, a Department of Homeland Security memo indicated Friday.
The memo said the U.S. government will no longer force migrants to stay in Mexico while awaiting an immigration hearing in the United States. The new policy will go into effect as soon as a court injunction enforcing Remain in Mexico is lifted.
"This administration is tackling longstanding problems that have plagued our immigration system for decades in order to achieve needed systemic change," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement, according to USA Today. The Migrant Protection Protocols "does not help meet this goal."
Former President Donald Trump implemented the MPP, or Remain in Mexico policy, in 2018, but Biden's Department of Homeland Security formally rescinded it June 1.
Under the policy, border officials directed some 68,000 asylum seekers to return to Mexico, where human rights advocates say they are forced to seek refuge in squalid and dangerous tent camps on the Mexico side of the border.
But the states of Texas and Missouri sued, winning an injunction against the lifting of the policy.
A homeland security official told reporters that while the MPP may have resulted in a decline of border crossings, the humanitarian costs of the program "justify the decision to terminate," according to The Hill.
"There are certain problems with MPP that are endemic, inherent in the program that no amount of resources can fix," the official said, citing problems allowing migrants access to legal assistance as well as security concerns.