Anushka Sharma

Published On: December 03, 2021 at 15:05 IST

The Biden administration stated on Thursday that it has reached an Agreement with the Mexican government to restore a Trump-era border policy that requires asylum seekers to remain in Mexico until their immigration Court hearing in the United States.

The programme will begin on Monday at one border crossing and will eventually expand to seven crossings, including San Diego and the Texas cities of Laredo, El Paso, and Brownsville.

Former President Donald Trump originally established the policy in 2019 in response to an uptick in Central American families crossing the southwest border. According to the American Immigration Council, some 70,000 migrants have been returned to Mexico as a result of the programme since 2019.

President Joe Biden formally stopped the policy in June after suspending it on his first day in office, citing the danger migrants experienced while waiting for Court hearings in Mexico.

However, in April, the Republican-controlled States of Texas and Missouri sued the Biden Administration over the program’s cancellation. In August, a federal Judge in Texas’ Northern District sided with the States and ordered the administration to resume the policy while the litigation was being resolved. The administration took its case to the Supreme Court, which upheld the policy’s continuation.

Since then, the US has been working with the Mexican government to figure out how to bring the contentious programme back online.

“Mexico has demanded a number of humanitarian improvements as conditions of agreeing to accept enrollees,” said one U.S. official, including guarantees that asylum seekers will have access to legal Counsel and their humanitarian claims will be processed within 180 days.

“These are improvements we agree with,” the official said.

“The Government of Mexico reiterates the importance of strengthening development cooperation to address the root causes of migration,” the Mexican Foreign Ministry said in the press release. “In addition, it reconfirms the goal of administering a migration policy that respects migrants’ human rights to achieve orderly, safe and regular migration in the region.”

The reintroduction of the Remain in Mexico’ policy comes as the Biden administration is under fire for its handling of the biggest number of migrant encounters on the US-Mexico border in two decades.

Republicans have chastised Biden for not taking a tougher position on immigration, implying that he supports Free borders’ and falsely claiming that migrants are to blame for the spread of Covid-19.

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