The Biden administration has now formally ended a Trump era policy that led to tens of thousands of asylum seekers having to wait in potentially perilous conditions outside of the country while their cases were processed. The program in question was known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, or more formally as the Migrant Protection Protocols, and in a memo announcing that the program was getting formally shut down, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas observed that the framework never even seemed to help with effective “border management” and immigration policy.
As Mayorkas put it, the program didn’t “adequately or sustainably enhance border management.” While it was in place, apprehensions actually increased at the southern border, indicating how the system constituted little but a spectacle that imposed new hardships on asylum seekers.
Mayorkas also noted that he holds “the belief that we can only manage migration in an effective, responsible, and durable manner if we approach the issue comprehensively, looking well beyond our own borders.” The idea there would be foreign aid that is meant to assist local communities so that potential asylum seekers can find the opportunities and security that they’re after without having to venture to the United States.
The Biden administration halted the implementation of the Remain in Mexico program earlier this year. On February 2, Biden signed an executive order demanding a review of the program by federal agencies with an eye towards whether it should be eliminated. An official at the Department of Homeland Security informed Reuters this week that over 11,000 asylum seekers who had been kept out of the country under the program have been allowed to enter the U.S. while pursuing their asylum claims since Biden’s team tentatively halted the punitive Remain in Mexico system.