Asylum seekers who were instructed to “remain in Mexico” under the Trump administration’s heavily immigration restrictions are now “streaming” across the southern border, according to the Daily Mail, in the hopes of being allowed to either put their case before an American immigration court or be allowed to remain in the United States pending an asylum hearing.
“The first asylum seekers have crossed the Gateway International Bridge from Mexico to the US after Joe Biden overturned Donald Trump’s tough immigration policies,” the outlet reported Sunday. “Men, women, and children from a migrant camp of at least 700 in Matamoros, Mexico, just across the river from Brownsville, Texas, have been crossing into the United States after spending months stuck in Mexico waiting for their cases to be processed.”
“Migrants hope by entering the US, their cases will be processed faster and it will be difficult to deport them under asylum rules,” the outlet continued.
The Trump administration, faced with an unprecedented number of asylum seekers presenting themselves at checkpoints along the United States-Mexico border — and forced to allow those asylum-seekers to remain in the United States pending an immigration hearing under rules set by the Obama administration — inked a deal with Mexico, which allowed asylum seekers to remain south of the border until their hearings.
The deal relieved pressure on Customs and Border Protection facilities, where illegal border-jumpers were often packed shoulder-to-shoulder and emptied controversial CBP border detention facilities, many of which were full of unaccompanied minors.
The Biden administration reversed the so-called “remain in Mexico” policy almost as soon as President Joe Biden entered office, part of a massive effort to undo President Donald Trump’s stringent anti-immigration agenda.
Unfortunately for Biden, the decision has had consequences. The administration has had to reopen juvenile detention facilities following an influx of unaccompanied minors presenting themselves at the border, and detention facilities are again filling up. And the asylum program is again being flooded.
“One week ago, President Joe Biden’s administration began permitting members of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program to enter the United States to pursue their court cases,” the Daily Mail noted. “Since then, U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) spokeswoman Silvia Garduño said 27 people crossed the border from Mexico on Thursday and 100 on Friday, with the remaining 500 or so crossing by early next week.”
Reuters added that Mexico hopes to empty its camps as soon as this week, sending the “remain in Mexico” migrants into the United States for processing.
There is, of course, an additional issue. Asylum seekers cannot remain in CBP custody for very long — and there simply isn’t enough room to house the hundreds who are expected to present themselves at the border over the next several weeks. So the Biden administration may be forced to return to the Obama administration’s so-called “catch-and-release” policy, allowing asylum seekers to travel to family or other contacts in the United States while they await trial, a columnist for The Hill noted last week.
Biden, meanwhile, is under pressure from progressives and the far left, who want to see Immigration and Customs Enforcement abolished altogether.