President Joe Biden is taking another shot at scrapping former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy after a Texas judge in August blocked the policy’s repeal.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Wednesday a second attempt at repealing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico.” The department’s first attempt, which took place in June, was blocked by judge Matthew Kacsmaryk who ruled that the Biden administration did not follow proper protocol when repealing the Trump-era policy.
“The Department of Homeland Security intends to issue in the coming weeks a new memorandum terminating the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Although the Department issued a June 2021 memorandum that terminated MPP, a Texas district court vacated that prior termination determination and issued an injunction that requires the Department to work in good faith to re-start MPP. The Department has appealed that injunction,” DHS stated. “A new memorandum terminating MPP will not take effect until the current injunction is lifted by court order. In issuing a new memorandum terminating MPP, the Department intends to address the concerns raised by the courts with respect to the prior memorandum.”
DHS added that it has been “working in good faith” to restart the policy as Kacsmaryk ordered in August. Though the federal government is still legally obligated to enforce the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which states that all migrants making asylum claims in the United States must remain in Mexico while their claims are processed, the Biden administration has released thousands of illegal migrants into the United States to await their court date. The DHS said:
In the meantime, while the court injunction remains in effect, the Department has been working in good faith to re-start MPP in compliance with the order, and it will continue to do so. To that end, the Department, working with the Department of State, is engaged in ongoing and high-level diplomatic discussions with Mexico. Simultaneously, the Department has instituted an interagency Task Force to efficiently rebuild the infrastructure and reapportioning the staffing that will be needed to restart MPP once that concurrence has been obtained. Among many other steps, the Task Force is updating policies and procedures to account for COVID-19 and preparing to put in place contracts to rebuild the soft-sided Immigration Hearing Facilities used for court proceedings associated with MPP.
The Department remains committed to building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system that upholds our laws and values. The Department also continues to process individuals in accordance with U.S. law and our mission.
On Sunday, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas admitted that roughly 12,000 illegal migrants from the wave of border crossers that flowed into Del Rio, Texas, recently have been released into the United States. As The Daily Wire reported:
Mayorkas appeared on “Fox News Sunday” and told host Chris Wallace that about 10,000 to 12,000 illegal migrants have been released and the number “could be even higher.” About 5,000 migrants from the Del Rio border camp are still going through processing. …
Mayorkas added that the number of migrants released into the U.S. could increase, as could the number who are returned. “It could be even higher. The number that are returned could be even higher. What we do is we follow the law as Congress has passed it,” Mayorkas said, according to Fox News.
A holding pen hastily put together by U.S. Border Patrol officials underneath a bridge near Del Rio, Texas, was mostly cleared out by Saturday. The area, which was previously covered in migrant tents and held at its peak roughly 15,000 people, had been mostly bulldozed. About 3,000 migrants were left.