Biden administration to reinstate catch-and-release immigration policy for 25,000 asylum seekers

An estimated 25,000 asylum seekers who were ordered to stay in Mexico under former President Trump’s policies will now be allowed to cross the border at the start of next week.

President Trump introduced the Migration Protection Policy (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico Policy,” in January 2019. The policy was meant to keep asylum seekers in Mexico as their cases pended. The point of the policy was to end “catch and release” and cut down on illegal immigrants looking to take advantage of the asylum system in place. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkes stated, “As President Biden has made clear, the U.S. government is committed to rebuilding a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system. This latest action is another step in our commitment to reform immigration policies that do not align with our nation’s values.”

It is estimated by the Biden administration that 25,000 migrants enrolled in the protocols still have active cases. Homeland Security said in a statement that individuals should not take any action at this time and should instead remain where they are and await further instruction. Homeland Security did warn migrants that the announcement “should not be interpreted as an opening for people to migrate irregularly to the United States.” Homeland Security stated that eligible individuals can enter designated ports at designated times although it remains unclear where the eligible ports will be.

Individuals will be tested for Covid-19 before being allowed into the country although the protocols for a Covid positive test are still unclear. It’s estimated that roughly 85 percent of Central American asylum seeker cases are rejected by the US court system. The Biden administration plans to start slowly with about 300 border crossings daily. On Biden’s first day in office Homeland security suspended the MPP for new arrivals some asylum seekers since have been picked up and released into the US. Biden has also announced at the beginning of February that the administration plans on increasing the admissions of refugees to 125,000 in the fiscal year which is far more than former President Trump’s historic lows.




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