Biden administration officials say that starting next week, they will begin processing immigrants who have been waiting in Mexico and allow them to live in the United States while they await rulings on their asylum cases, NBC News reported Friday.
Under the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols — known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy — immigrants were required to stay in Mexico as they waited for their asylum cases to be heard.
During the campaign, President Joe Biden promised to eliminate the policy.
Approximately 25,000 migrants are currently waiting at the border, and the administration officials said they would begin allowing 600 a day to enter the country, NBC News reported.
Asylum-seekers who have been waiting the longest or are considered vulnerable will be eligible to enter the United States starting Feb. 19.
They will be tested for COVID-19 by an international agency on the Mexican side of the border before being transferred to one of three ports of entry for processing.
The immigrants will not be detained but will be kept on “alternatives to detention,” although the officials did not specify what those alternatives would be, the report said.
Officials said this is the first step toward “humane processing at the border,” a jab at President Donald Trump’s policies.
New migration is being discouraged, and officials say that new arrivals would not be eligible to enter the country at this time.
“Those who do not have active cases will have other opportunities,” one official said.
The announcement comes after the Biden administration reimplemented the “catch and release” policy of dealing with undocumented immigrants along the southern border.
Biden issued executive orders Feb. 2 that revoked Trump’s memorandum of April 6, 2018, that ended “catch and release” — the practice of holding immigrants as they enter the U.S. and then releasing them back into U.S. cities.
The Biden policy allows migrants to stay in the United States while they wait for their immigration proceedings to take place, KXAN-TV reported.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials told city officials in McAllen, Texas, that undocumented family units are being paroled into the United States to await their asylum hearings.
CBP cited the increase of migrant traffic, Mexico’s refusal to accept families with young children in its migrant camps already at capacity and the effects of COVID-19 on border facility capacities as factors that led to the policy decision, according to Fox News.
The agency is only permitted to hold migrants for 72 hours, and many sectors are unable to meet that mandate.
Mexico also has refused to accept families under the pandemic order Title 42 that Trump imposed to deny entry to illegal immigrants.
To date, U.S. officials have used Title 42 to deport 90 percent of all migrants illegally crossing the border, Fox News reported.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org