Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) says she will introduce a bill this week to reinstate the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy), which President Joe Biden abandoned on his first day in office.
Called the “Make the Migrant Protection Protocols Mandatory Act,” Blackburn’s bill would require foreigners seeking asylum who cross the southern border without proper identification and other papers to remain in Mexico until their case is heard in a U.S. court.
“President Biden’s failed immigration policies have created a crisis at our southern border,” Blackburn said in a statement, Fox News reported. “Over half a million illegal aliens have poured across our southern border since Biden decided to repeal President Trump’s successful policy that forced migrants to remain in Mexico while seeking asylum. My legislation will stop Biden’s decision to catch and release migrants into our communities and reinstate President Trump’s Remain in Mexico program.”
Biden used an executive order to do away with Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which kept foreigners who claimed asylum after being intercepted by United States Customs and Border Patrol while crossing the United States-Mexico border in camps in Mexico while they awaited hearings. Instead, Biden returned to a “catch-and-release” policy in which illegal aliens are allowed to enter the U.S., are given a court date, and then released to family who live in the country.
Suddenly, the flow of foreigners to the border exploded. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents apprehended nearly 100,000 people at the border in February. Last April, just more than 16,000 were captured at the border, according to Pew data.
In March, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the surge of foreigners at the southern border is the worst in 20 years. While still refusing to call the situation a “crisis” — calling it merely a “difficult situation” — Mayorkas said in a statement that “[w]e are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years.”
Mayorkas also said that many of the thousands of unaccompanied minors now detained in border facilities have family already in the U.S. “In more than 80 percent of cases, the child has a family member in the United States. In more than 40 percent of cases, that family member is a parent or legal guardian. These are children being reunited with their families who will care for them,” Mayorkas said.
According to data released by the Customs and Border Protection, some 19,000 migrant families were caught at the border in February, more than double the 7,000 families caught there in January. Unaccompanied children caught crossing the border increased from 5,694 in January to 9,297 in February.
Trump last month accused Biden of causing “death and human tragedy” by overturning his border policies.
“We proudly handed the Biden Administration the most secure border in history,” the former president said in a statement. ” All they had to do was keep this smooth-running system on autopilot. Instead, in the span of a just few weeks, the Biden Administration has turned a national triumph into a national disaster. They are in way over their heads and taking on water fast.”
But Team Biden blamed Trump for the swarm of foreigners at the U.S. border.
“Biden officials claim Trump officials did not fully cooperate with his transition team, hindering their ability get a realistic view of potential migration, and that Trump deconstructed the immigration and asylum system – which they then inherited,” the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.
“As we were coming into the administration, we knew we were inheriting an absolute mess from the previous administration — that there were aspects of our legal immigration system that had been gutted and a department that lacked the personnel to administer our laws,” said Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the director of the White House’s office of intergovernmental affairs, according to CNN.