The Biden administration plans to reinstate the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, which sent migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. back to Mexico while they awaited a hearing, the Department of Justice said in a court filing Thursday.
The Biden administration has no love for the policy, which is officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols. Upon assuming the presidency in January, President Joe Biden suspended the policy, according to The Hill.
Though the administration formally revoked the policy in June, a federal judge said in August that MPP had not been properly ended and that it would have to be reinstated, The Washington Post reported.
The DOJ said Thursday it plans to reinstate the policy, likely by mid-November. However, that hinges on whether or not the Mexican government is willing to accept the asylum seekers.
“Mexico is a sovereign nation that must make an independent decision to accept the return of individuals without status in Mexico as part of any reimplementation of MPP,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.
“Discussions with the Government of Mexico concerning when and how MPP will be reimplemented are ongoing.”
A DHS spokesperson, meanwhile, told CNBC that the administration is doing its best to comply with what the court ordered.
“DHS is taking necessary steps to comply with the court order, which requires us to reimplement MPP in good faith,” the spokesperson said. “We are working to do so, despite our appeal of the court’s order.”
The Mexican government said in a statement it will continue a “dialogue” with the U.S.
“In a sovereign manner, Mexico will continue the dialogue with the executive branch of the United States, in order to advance a regional, orderly, safe and regular migration policy,” the nation’s Foreign Relations Department said.
The August court order came in response to a lawsuit by the states of Texas and Missouri challenging the legality of the Biden administration’s action to end MPP.
“In April, we sued the Biden Administration over their cancellation of the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy and won at the district court, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and at the United States Supreme Court, requiring the Biden Administration to reimplement the policy,” read a statement from Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, according to Fox News.
“Despite multiple courts ordering the Biden Administration to reimplement the policy, they have repeatedly slow-walked that reimplementation.”
“The ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy should be implemented today, especially as the crisis at the border continues to worsen every single day. We have taken concrete action to secure the border, it’s time for the Biden Administration to do the same,” the statement added.