Former President Donald Trump took extraordinary measures to secure the southern U.S. border upon entering office in 2017. Like usual, he delivered on his promise by implementing programs that might not have been politically popular, but were the best bet to keep American citizens safe and unburdened.
Now that President Joe Biden has the reigns, those same policies that protected us are quickly going by the wayside, including a program that forced illegal asylum seekers to wait in Mexico before their hearing in the United States.
There are about 25,000 of them right now, and Biden just gave the green light to let them all in the door.
Reuters has the story:
The U.S. government next week will begin to gradually process thousands of asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico under a controversial program put in place by former President Donald Trump, officials said.
The moves are part of a plan by the administration of President Joe Biden to end the program, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), an effort complicated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and concerns over illegal immigration.
The Trump administration launched the program in 2019 as part of a wide-ranging crackdown on the ability to seek asylum in the United States, which Trump officials depicted as rife with fraud and meritless claims.
The initiative forced more than 65,000 non-Mexican asylum seekers back across the border to wait for their U.S. court hearings, although far fewer are believed to still be waiting in Mexico.
The Biden administration will begin by working to process about 25,000 migrants with active claims in the program, officials said on Thursday. The new guidelines will require migrants to register online or via phone, be tested for the coronavirus in Mexico and then come to a U.S. port of entry on a specific day.
The news was welcomed with relief in a sprawling migrant camp in the Mexican city of Matamoros, just across the border from Brownsville, Texas.
“I’ve been reading all the articles,” said Salvadoran asylum seeker Sandra Andrade, who has been waiting in Mexico for over a year to resolve her U.S. court case. “Honestly, I have no words for how I’m feeling right now!”
Biden vowed on the campaign trail to roll back restrictive Trump-era immigration policies, including MPP, which is informally known as “remain in Mexico.” His administration suspended new entries into the program when he took office on Jan. 20, but did not immediately put forward a plan to bring the people enrolled in it into the United States. Some have been waiting for as long as two years.
Republicans embracing Trump’s hardline immigration views have criticized the ending of MPP and could use it as fuel for political attacks if illegal border crossings increase on Biden’s watch.
Top Biden officials have stressed in recent weeks that migrants should not attempt to enter the United States, saying they need time to build up the capacity to process more asylum seekers.
“Individuals who are not eligible under this initial phase should wait for further instructions and not travel to the border,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement accompanying the MPP announcement. “Due to the current pandemic, restrictions at the border remain in place and will be enforced.”
That’s just what we need — an immediate influx of illegal immigrants to process and take care of while thousands more make their way to the border.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org