Biden Administration Prepares Rollback of ‘Remain and Mexico’ Policy, Set to Begin Processing Asylum Applications

According to a new report from the Los Angeles Times, the Biden Administration is planning to start processing the application of asylum seekers who were forced to ‘remain in Mexico’ under rules and regulations put in place by President Trump. In doing so, the administration will allow thousands of migrants who have been stuck waiting in Mexico a more direct opportunity to apply for asylum in the United States. In this article, our Los Angeles immigration law firm provides an overview of the report and discusses the issues that still need to be resolved.

The Remain in Mexico Policy: A Dangerous Roadblock

Officially labelled as the ‘Migrant Protection Protocols’ or ‘MPP’, the Trump Administration’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy made it very difficult for vulnerable Central American migrants to seek asylum protections in the United States. In effect, President Trump’s rules required any Central American migrant who passed through Mexico to wait in that country for the entire duration of their immigration court proceedings. Tragically, many people were forced to wait in dangerous conditions. As noted in the LA Times story, immigrant rights advocates “recorded at least 1,134 instances of kidnapping, rape and assault against migrants put into MPP.

Asylum Application Processing is Expected at Three Ports of Entry

As a candidate for President of the United States, Joe Biden consistently criticized the ‘Remain in Mexico’ asylum policy. Though, as he was set to take office, his administration cautioned that it would take some time to unwind the mess that was left behind by the Trump Administration. The processing of asylum applications is the next step in the process. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that processing is expected to take place towards the end of February at three ports of entry:

  • San Ysidro, California;
  • El Paso, Texas; and
  • Brownsville, Texas.

This is a significant step: There are thousands of migrants who are currently waiting in Mexico. Though there is no official number, Biden Administration officials estimate that as many as 30,000 people—many of them young children—are currently waiting in Mexico due to the Trump Administration’s policy.

Unwinding the ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy is Complicated, Many Questions Remain

There are still many outstanding questions about how exactly the Biden Administration will handle these asylum applications and how it will treat migrants who arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border in the coming months and years. The administration should be held accountable for working to create a more fair, effective asylum system.

Schedule a Confidential Consultation With an Asylum Lawyer in Los Angeles

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our Los Angeles asylum attorney is a compassionate, solutions-focused advocate for clients and their families. If you have questions about the asylum claims process, we are here to help you find the answer. Get in touch with our legal team now to set up your confidential initial consultation. We represent clients in Los Angeles and throughout the wider region in Southern California.

Josh Goldstein
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