In a significant vindication of one of former President Donald Trump’s signature immigration policies, President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it plans to restart the so-called “Remain in Mexico” protocol next month in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring it to do so, as Fox News reports.
Though Biden halted the policy, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), upon taking office in January, the states of Missouri and Texas took the administration to court over the move, and a federal judge ordered its reinstatement pending final resolution of the litigation, as NBC News noted.
The administration subsequently appealed that order, but was thwarted when the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision on the matter, which required DHS to “enforce and implement” the policy in its prior form.
Under the original MPP put into place in 2019, migrants attempting to enter the United States were required to return to Mexico instead of being turned loose in the country’s interior pending adjudication of their asylum claims, a policy that supporters of the former president argue was extremely successful in stopping fraudulent applications and curtailing the sort of unchecked immigration that has overwhelmed the southern border in recent months.
Opponents of the policy, however, claim that the MPP was inhumane in that it facilitated acts of violence and victimization against migrants at the hands of cartels and others seeking to exploit their presence near the border.
As Fox News noted, the Biden administration says it has made “substantial progress” in its efforts to restart the program, including holding talks with Mexican officials and solidifying operational details, even though it ultimately hopes to bring it to an end through other means.
According to ABC News, the Associated Press reported that the administration is set to reinstall tent courts in the border towns of Laredo and Brownsville, Texas so as to provide sufficient capacity in a system that is reportedly backlogged to the tune of 1.4 million cases.
The current administration has yet to fulfill Biden’s campaign pledge of creating a supposedly “humane” system of processing asylum claims, and illegal crossings have skyrocketed during his first nine months in office, making the restoration of the Remain in Mexico policy a welcome development for many.
As Trump-era acting head of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan has aptly noted, Trump’s immigration approach – including the MPP – “was supposed to have a deterrent effect…it stopped the flow. It was incredible. It worked,” and the imminent return of this critical piece of his overall strategy is certainly a step in the right direction.