The government of US President Joe Biden plans to reinstate in mid-November the “Stay in Mexico” program, which forces asylum seekers to wait on Mexican territory while their cases are processed in the United States, if the neighboring country accepts.
The information was disclosed by the US Department of Homeland Security, in a motion presented this Friday (15) to a federal court in Texas.
In the text, the folder explains that it is “preparing” to reapply the Protocols for the Protection of Migrants (MPP) – also known as “Remaining in Mexico” – if the Mexican authorities accept asylum seekers who the US return to its territory.
The US government said it had “multiple” conversations with the Mexican government to explain its plans to reactivate this program and to secure “a decision independent of Mexico to accept the return of people registered with MPPs.”
Deputy White House Spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre stressed on Friday that the Mexican government must help “in good faith” to comply with the court order, in statements to the press aboard the plane taking Biden to Connecticut.
In addition, he noted that the Department of Homeland Security is appealing the court’s decision and that it intends to issue “a second memorandum to end the MPPs.”
In August, the Texan court ordered the Biden administration to reinstate MPPs, saying the White House improperly canceled the program in response to a move by Republican-ruled Texas and Missouri states.
Shortly thereafter, the country’s Supreme Court upheld the Texas court’s decision, forcing the government to restore a measure that Biden had called inhumane.
The administration of former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) implemented MPPs in 2019, forcing more than 60,000 asylum seekers to return to Mexico to wait for their cases in the US to be resolved.
This policy is designed to prevent migrants arriving across the country’s southern border from avoiding deportation by seeking asylum in the US. In order for Mexico to accept the measure, Trump threatened the Mexican authorities with the imposition of tariffs.
Upon arriving at the White House in January, Biden ordered the suspension of MPPs, coinciding with an increase in the arrival of undocumented migrants at the border.
In February, the Biden administration began allowing immigrants with active MPP cases into the US, and in June, the Department of Homeland Security finally ended the program, which has been criticized by human rights organizations.
In the August ruling, the Supreme Court recognized that MPPs cannot be resumed without Mexico’s consent, and for that reason Washington is negotiating with Mexican authorities about “when and how MPPs will be reimplemented,” said the Department of Homeland Security.