Biden Reinstating Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Border Policy in Coming Weeks


  • President Biden to reinstate Trump’s controversial “Remain in Mexico” program in the coming weeks. 
  • The Biden administration tried to end the policy, but the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling reinstating it.
  • The program will offer adults the chance to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Axios reported Wednesday.

President Joe Biden’s administration is set to reinstate the controversial “remain in Mexico” program, created by the Trump administration, that would force many asylum seekers to take shelter in Mexico until US immigration courts process and decide on their claims. 

Under Biden, the program will offer adult migrants the chance to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Axios reported on Wednesday. The policy, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), could be reimplemented as early as next week, but the Mexican government has not yet agreed to cooperate. 

“In compliance with the court order, we are working to reimplement MPP as promptly as possible,” Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Marsha Espinosa told Axios. “We cannot do so until we have the independent agreement from the Government of Mexico to accept those we seek to enroll in MPP. We will communicate to the court, and to the public, the timing of reimplementation when we are prepared to do so.”

In June, the administration rescinded the policy, which has forced tens of thousands of asylum seekers into Mexican border towns and unsafe encampments. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas released a memo explaining why the administration was ending the policy.

But the Supreme Court in August upheld a Trump-appointed federal judge’s ruling that the policy must be reinstated.  

On the campaign trail, Biden promised to reverse many of Trump’s harshest immigration policies. After taking office, he announced he’d dismantle MPP. Following the Court’s ruling, Mayorkas issued another, longer, memo last month explaining why the administration believes the policy should end. He wrote that the program “had endemic flaws, imposed unjustifiable human costs, pulled resources and personnel away from other priority efforts, and did not address the root causes of irregular migration.” 

Acting Solicitor General Brian Fletcher argued in a brief before the Supreme Court that reinstating the “remain in Mexico” policy “would prejudice the United States’ relations with vital regional partners, severely disrupt its operations at the southern border, and threaten to create a diplomatic and humanitarian crisis.”

At the same time, the Biden administration has turned away hundreds of thousands of migrants at the border under a public health regulation, called Title 42, implemented last year to control the spread of COVID-19. Under the current administration, migrant children who arrive by themselves at the border are not subject to the rule. 

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