The Biden administration is trying again to end the “Remain in Mexico” policy of former President Donald Trump.
This policy led to migrants being sent back to Mexico, while their cases were processed by the U.S immigration court system.
In August, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling requiring that the Department of Homeland Security reimplement this policy, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols.
DHS announced Wednesday that it would draft a new memo to rescind the policy but would maintain the injunction “in good-faith.”
“A new memorandum terminating MPP will not take effect until the current injunction is lifted by court order,” the DHS announcement said. “In issuing a new memorandum terminating MPP, the Department intends to address the concerns raised by the courts with respect to the prior memorandum.”
Politico reported this month that the Biden administration was looking at a “Remain In Mexico Lite” policy, whereby a few asylum seekers would need to wait in Mexico while they were processing their cases. This proposal would provide better living conditions for migrants and easier access to lawyers.
DHS stated that it was “engaged in ongoing and high-level diplomatic discussions with Mexico” and had instituted a task force to restore the infrastructure needed to implement MPP in the meantime.
DHS stated that MPP’s reinstatement seems to contradict the Biden administration’s belief that it will ultimately prevail in court.
Mexico was reluctant to accept MPP. Trump however threatened sanctions against Mexico, saying that he would link together trade and migration policy.
According to The Hill, it was not clear what the Biden administration suggested to Mexico in order for them to accept a renewal.
DHS has returned up to 70,000 migrants from Mexico to the Trump administration. This led to refugee camps being established in Mexican border cities.
Immigration activists argued that “Remaining in Mexico” violated U.S. asylum laws and international asylum laws. This gives migrants the right to apply once they have arrived in a country’s territory for asylum.
Some advocates were upset by the decision of the Biden administration to reimplement MPP.
“If the administration really wants the policy outcome, it could certainly rewrite the memo,” Ahilan Arulanantham, co-director of the Center for Immigration Law & Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, previously told The Hill.
Arulanantham suggested the administration should follow the Trump administration’s actions in rewriting its Muslim ban.
“They wrote in one way, it got struck down. They write it again, it goes to the Supreme Court. They write it again, each time curing whatever defects the court is describing in order to make it harder to attack,” Arulanantham said. “And surely you could do that here, and the court decisions give you the road map for how to do it. It’s not rocket science.”