Biden Suspends Deportations, Stops 'Remain In Mexico' Policy

Posted 41 days ago

From WWW.NPR.ORG

The newly inaugurated Biden administration wasted no time in taking two major steps to dismantle much-criticized Trump-era immigration policies in its first day in office.

The Department of Homeland Security announced that starting Thursday, it would pause deportations for certain noncitizens in the United States for 100 days and would stop new enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols policy, also known as the "remain in Mexico" program.

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske said the U. S. "faces significant operational challenges at the southwest border as it is confronting the most serious global public health crisis in a century."

Pausing some enforcement measures gives the agency breathing room as the DHS plans to fully review current programs and U. S. immigration policies, Pekoske said in a memo issued late Wednesday.

Pekoske's memo directed DHS sub-agencies Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services "to review and reset enforcement policies and set interim policies for civil enforcement while the Department develops its final priorities."

The department aims to focus its resources "where they are most needed," Pekoske said. In light of the serious challenges at the southern border, DHS must "surge resources" to the area to ensure "safe, legal and orderly" immigrant processing.

The Trump administration's controversial "remain in Mexico" policy requiring asylum-seekers trying to enter the U. S. from the southern border to wait in Mexico for American court hearings will be suspended.

The program has led to roughly 60,000 migrants getting sent back across the border since MPP was first implemented in January 2019. Tens of thousands of people are still stuck in Mexico, awaiting their court hearings, and living in unsanitary and potentially dangerous situations. The policy has placed enormous strain on Mexico, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thousands more migrants from Latin America have pushed their way toward Mexico in recent days. Some have told journalists that they are making their way north because they expect it to be easier to enter the U. S. under the Biden administration. Others say the economic situation and violence in Honduras has made remaining there untenable. The increase in migrants, however, promises even more stress on Mexico and the U.S. immigration system.

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