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DHS says it will obey order to restart Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' policy -- for now

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DHS says it will obey order to restart Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' policy -- for now
Migrants are shown as they are held for processing, under the Paso del Norte Bridge in El Paso, Texas, on March 27, 2019. File Photo by Justin Hamel/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 2 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden's administration said Thursday that they will restart the controversial "Remain in Mexico" immigration policy next week -- which requires refugees to wait out their applications to enter the United States south of the border.

The Homeland Security Department said the policy, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols, will restart on Monday. Biden's administration is opposed to the Trump-era policy, but is complying with a court order.

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in August that Biden's government must reinstate the policy. Two other courts in Texas and Missouri had previously made a similar ruling.

Former President Donald Trump created the policy in 2018 and ordered border officials to send tens of thousands of asylum-seekers back to Mexico to wait for the outcome of their applications.

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Biden formally ended the policy in June amid concerns from human rights advocates who said migrants were being forced to take refuge in squalid and dangerous tent camps on Mexico's side of the border.

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks with a border guard at the El Paso Border Patrol Station in El Paso, Texas, on June 25. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI

"Once fully operational, MPP enrollments will take place across the Southwest Border, and returns to Mexico will take place at seven ports of entry [in Texas and California]," the Homeland Security Department said in a statement.

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The department said it will exclude "particularly vulnerable individuals" from being enrolled in the protocols and will provide COVID-19 vaccinations for all enrollees.

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Although they must restart the policy, Biden's administration said it expects the return to be short.

"Once the court injunction is lifted, MPP will be terminated," the department said. "The administration remains committed to building a safe, orderly and humane immigration system that upholds our laws and values. DHS also continues to process individuals in accordance with U.S. law and our mission."

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has said that Trump's policy has "endemic flaws" and "imposed unjustifiable human costs" and "pulled resources and personnel away from other priority efforts."

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