Migrants arrested at the US-Mexico border will no longer be enrolled in a program requiring they remain in Mexico as their immigration hearings play out in the US, the Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday, reversing another controversial Trump administration immigration policy.
The so-called “Remain in Mexico” program has forced thousands of people to wait in makeshift camps at the border, often in deplorable conditions.
While the latest announcement marks a significant change, migrants apprehended at the southern border have largely been turned away under a public health order related to the coronavirus pandemic. DHS said Wednesday Covid-19 related border restrictions remain in place.
President Joe Biden condemned the “remain in Mexico” policy during his campaign and is quickly moving to bring it to halt.
“Today, DHS is announcing the suspension of new enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program,” the department’s statement reads. “Effective tomorrow, January 21, the Department will cease adding individuals into the program.
The change in policy doesn’t affect people currently in the program. “All current MPP participants should remain where they are, pending further official information from U.S. government officials,” the statement continues.