Posted on October 17, 2021

Biden Administration Says It’s Ready to Restore ‘Remain in Mexico’ Along Border

Nick Miroff, Washington Post, October 15, 2021

The Biden administration is prepared to reimplement the Trump-era border policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols in mid-November if the Mexican government agrees to accept the return of asylum seekers to its territory, administration officials said Thursday.

In August, a U.S. District Court in Texas ordered the Biden administration to restart MPP, also known as “Remain in Mexico,” faulting the White House for ending the program improperly. The Supreme Court upheld the decision, forcing Biden officials to restore a policy the president has deplored as inhumane.

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement late Thursday it is “taking necessary steps to comply with the court order, which requires us to reimplement MPP in good faith.”

MPP cannot resume without Mexico’s consent, as the court acknowledged in its ruling, and administration officials said they are taking steps to address the concerns of the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador by setting up better access to legal counsel for asylum seekers and exemptions for vulnerable migrants.


The Trump administration used MPP to return more than 60,000 asylum seekers across the border to Mexico, requiring them to wait outside U.S. territory as their claims were processed in U.S. courts. The policy was conceived by Trump officials as a way to prevent border-crossers from being released into the United States — and avoiding deportation — by making asylum claims.

Trump used the threat of tariffs to force Mexico to accept a major expansion of MPP in 2019 amid a surge of Central American families seeking protection. Border crossings fell sharply in the months that followed {snip}

Biden halted MPP soon after taking office {snip}


The GOP-run states of Texas and Missouri filed suit against the administration in the Northern District of Texas, saying the abrupt repeal of MPP led to a harmful surge of illegal immigration. The number of migrants taken into custody along the Mexico border this year is at the highest level in at least two decades.