Posted on February 12, 2021

Biden Is Planning to Bring Back Immigrants Who Were Forced to Wait in Dangerous Mexican Border Towns

Hamed Aleaziz, BuzzFeed, February 11, 2021

Immigrants who were forced by former president Donald Trump to wait in dangerous conditions in Mexico while they tried to gain asylum will soon start being allowed to enter the US at certain ports as the Biden administration attempts to wind down the controversial policy, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The unprecedented effort, which is expected to be rolled out within the next two weeks, is the beginning of President Joe Biden’s promise to end the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy — formally known as the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP). The policy led to tens of thousands of asylum-seekers being forced to stay in Mexico as they waited for their day in a US court. {snip}

The Biden administration’s plan, which will start slowly at three ports of entry, targets those who were pushed into the Remain in Mexico program and still have active cases in US immigration courts, according to a draft of the plan obtained by BuzzFeed News. {snip}


US Customs and Border Protection officials will also assess the capacity to intake those allowed into the US on a daily basis. Officials believe they can process up to 300 people a day within the first few weeks at two of the ports of entry for the initial phase.


Department of Homeland Security officials will not allow in people whose US asylum cases were terminated or who already have deportation orders. People who do not follow the reentry plan will also be turned back, in some cases using a public health law that allows for US border officials to quickly turn back immigrants at the border. This week, the White House also warned that most immigrants will still be turned away at the border.


The new plan calls for the asylum-seekers to be allowed into the US without being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unless they have a serious criminal record or are unaccompanied children, who will be sent to Health and Human Services officials.

Once in the US, the immigrants will be taken to local shelters and be required to check in with ICE officials as part of an “alternative to detention” in which they could also be forced to wear ankle bracelets for remote monitoring as they go through their court proceedings, the draft plan says.