DHS Formally Terminates Use of “Remain in Mexico” Program
FAIR Take | June 2021
The Biden administration on Tuesday formally terminated the “Remain in Mexico” program, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), through a memorandum. MPP implemented an existing section of the federal law that allowed DHS to use its discretion to require certain, non-vulnerable and non-Mexican aliens to wait in Mexico pending their hearing with an immigration judge instead of being detained or released into the interior of the United States.
MPP had a proven track record in managing mass-illegal immigration across the southern border. The United States experienced a spike in credible fear claims from illegal border crossers between 2018 and 2019. Implementation of this existing statute helped DHS eliminate a primary incentive for making illegally crossing the border and making a fraudulent asylum claim by prohibiting most non-Mexican aliens from being released into the interior on account of the long immigration court backlog.
The United States engages in a similar policy on the northern border, but through what is called a Safe Third Country Agreement. This policy, however, is more restrictive and prevents an asylum-seeker who enters the United States from Canada from applying for asylum in the United States.
“MPP was the most successful tool in stemming the flood of migrants attempting to reach the United States and defraud our political asylum system. It deterred those with specious claims from attempting to abuse our asylum system by sending a clear message that they would not succeed – which is precisely why the Biden administration, driven by radical left extremists, immediately put it on ice and is now doing away with it entirely,” FAIR President Dan Stein said in a statement on Tuesday. “Even though the MPP has been suspended since January, the agreement still provides the United States with a brake on runaway illegal immigration should we choose to use it. The formal repudiation of the MPP means that that tool will no longer be available,” he added.
Since taking over in January 2021, the Biden administration has eliminated or hamstrung nearly every tool DHS can use to deter illegal immigration into the United States, including severely restricting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers’ ability to initiate enforcement actions against most illegal aliens already here. As a result of these policies, the United States is experiencing a twenty-year-high in illegal border crossings and an all-time low in deportations numbers.