President Joe Biden’s administration reinstituted former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” asylum policy Thursday, according to multiple reports. Biden once called the policy “dangerous” and “inhumane.”
“Remain in Mexico” requires asylum seekers to remain in their countries of origin throughout the asylum application process until their U.S. court date. Trump first implemented the policy in 2019, and Biden vowed on the campaign trail to dismantle it once he was in office. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas terminated the policy in June, and Biden had already suspended it on his first day in office.
“Donald Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy is dangerous, inhumane, and goes against everything we stand for as a nation of immigrants,” Biden said in March 2020. “My administration will end it.”
Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy is dangerous, inhumane, and goes against everything we stand for as a nation of immigrants. My administration will end it. https://t.co/toYzMaPP1Y
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 12, 2020
A federal judge in Texas overruled Mayorkas’ termination of the policy over the summer, ordering the Biden administration to reinstate the policy. After doing so, the Biden administration then took another crack at ending it in late October, only to reimpose a version of it on Thursday. (RELATED: Mexico Commits To Deporting Migrants To Their Home Countries)
The new policy makes various changes to the Trump-era version, most notably that every asylum seeker will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination, though the administration claims it cannot mandate the vaccine. The new version also ensures that asylum seekers will have access to legal counsel throughout the application, and seeks to limit application proceedings to six months, according to CNBC.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have faced criticism for their handling of the border crisis, which has seen record-breaking border crossing encounters throughout 2021. Biden appointed Harris to handle the crisis in March, but the flow of migrants has continued.
Biden’s Remain in Mexico policy will officially take effect Dec. 6, and immigration activist groups have blasted Biden for complying with the court order.
“The resumption of this program … represents a serious step backward in the promise by the Biden administration to focus on the factors triggering the increase in forced migration from Mexico and Central American nations over the past year. Immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees have been a blessing to the U.S. Our laws and practices should reflect this fact, instead of echoing white supremacist and extreme xenophobic lie,” Oscar Chacón, executive director of the immigration activist group Alianza Americas, said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller.