President Joe Biden entered office last month with a clear plan to roll back as many Trump-era policies as possible.
In a move on Friday, the president began to make good on his promise to repeal former President Donald Trump’s so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy regarding asylum-seekers.
The latest executive action
According to the New York Post, the Biden administration has started to allow such immigrants to stay in the United States as their cases are being adjudicated.
Trump instituted the Migrant Protection Protocols policy in January 2019, thus requiring migrants who arrive at the southern border to seek asylum to remain in Mexico while their cases are heard in the United States.
The stated goal of this policy was to reduce the number of migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border and was specifically designed to pare down the number of fraudulent asylum claims.
By some measures, the plan appeared to have been working and a total of about 70,000 asylum-seekers had been part of the program by the time Biden was inaugurated.
Currently, roughly 25,000 individuals have active cases ongoing amid a backlog that resulted from the COVID-19 public health crisis.
“Another step in our commitment”
Of course, Trump had plenty of critics on the left — including Biden. Accordingly, the former vice president campaigned in part on his promise to do away with the policy, and his administration is now following through on that vow.
Reports earlier this week indicated that the White House has instituted a new policy allowing migrants to stay in America as they wait for their cases to be heard in immigration court. As part of the program, asylum-seekers will be given notices to appear before a judge before they are effectively released on their own recognizance.
According to the specifics of the plan, 25 immigrants will be released in the U.S. each day in three different locations — two in Texas and one in California.
This is sure to be just the start of Biden’s immigration overhaul, likely to phase out the Remain in Mexico policy entirely.
As Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas explained in a statement this week, Biden’s “latest action is another step in our commitment to reform immigration policies that do not align with our nation’s values.”