McAllen and Laredo, Texas will begin receiving Remain in Mexico enrollees this week. They will be tested for Covid in Mexico before crossing the border.
The infamous tent camp in Matamoros where Remain in Mexico enrollees awaited entry to the US has been dismantled. No more migrants are being registered to the camp, and those left have been relocated, according to DHS.
15,000 of the 25,000 asylum seekers eligible to enter the United States as the Biden administration rolls back the Remain in Mexico program are already in line, according to the UN.
A group of 27 asylum seekers from the Matamoros refugee camp entered the United States on Thursday, the first from the camp to be admitted amid the beginning of the end of Remain in Mexico.
UN agencies began processing individuals and families enrolled in the Remain in Mexico program from the Matamoros migrant camp for entry to the United States. Both the US and Mexican governments have asked the UN to aid in the process, and the International Organization for Migration is administering Covid tests to migrants.
Some Remain in Mexico enrollees are being allowed into the United States as of Friday, February 19, first at the San Diego port of entry and later through Brownsville and El Paso as well. Processing will be slow at first, with only a few hundred entering per day.
A Honduran father and son were among the first Remain in Mexico enrollees to be admitted into the U.S. under the Biden administration. While in Mexico, the father was kidnapped, beaten, and held for ransom.
Although the Mexican government promised to provide upwards of 3,500 jobs for migrants in the Remain in Mexico program, according to the Mexican Secretary of Labor only 64 were actually employed due partially to the fact that many migrants were never issued work permits.
The Biden administration will soon begin admitting migrants enrolled in the Remain in Mexico program. The plan starts slowly at three ports of entry, targets those who still have active cases in US immigration courts, and will be based on the date of enrollment in the program, with exceptions made for especially vulnerable migrants.
The Supreme Court granted requests from the Biden administration to remove arguments in two cases (Mayorkas v. Innovation Law Lab and Biden v. Sierra Club) that questioned the legality of the “Remain in Mexico” program and Donald Trump’s national emergency border wall-building declaration. The conservative court might have upheld Trump’s policies had he remained in office, but will now most likely dismiss the cases.
President Biden released executive orders creating a task force on family separation and calling for a review, with intent to end, “safe third-country” agreements, Title 42, the Remain in Mexico program, and other Trump policies restricting migration. The administration has not yet committed to ending these policies. One order calls for a new policy framework to address migration’s root causes in Central America.
The Department of Homeland Security released a statement announcing a suspension of new enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols or “Remain in Mexico” Program. It directs migrants currently subject to “Remain in Mexico” to stay put in Mexico for the time being.
- The Jesuit Refugee Service releases a report on the effects of the Remain in Mexico policy and the U.S.’ response to the coronavirus. The report asks policymakers to reinstate access to asylum with measures that manage public health risks, complete the current House Judiciary investigation into the legality of MPP, among other requests.
- Time reports that people awaiting their court dates in Mexico due to the Remain in Mexico policy and the CDC’s extended order to close the border are receiving rescheduled court dates for as late as April 2021.
- Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus denounce the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) delay in releasing children with pending Remain in Mexico cases. Under the CDC’s March order, the number of unaccompanied minors held by ORR has plummeted to as low as 58 in April, as minors are being expelled shortly after CBP receives them instead.
- The Trump administration suspends immigration court hearings for asylum-seekers adhering to the Remain in Mexico policy through June 1.
- The Arizona Republic reports on migrant aid groups like the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona, Al Otro Lado in California, and Border Kindness in Mexicali, Mexico. The article focuses on the difficulties faced by the organizations as they provide essential services to asylum seekers stranded at the border in the absence of federal assistance as coronavirus cases surge in both the U.S. and Mexico.
- Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF), a leading research university in Tijuana, Mexico, releases a study of the city’s 31 migrant shelters. In the analysis, COLEF recommends that the Mexican government support the relocation of “at least two thirds” of the 5,100 migrants in Tijuana due to the Remain in Mexico policy to hotels in the city to curb coronavirus mitigation in makeshift encampments and shelters.
- 26 migrant aid and advocacy organizations publish a letter to DHS, ICE, CBP, and EOIR leadership urging DHS to end the Remain in Mexico program as soon as possible to protect the asylum seekers stranded at the southern border during the pandemic. The organizations offer a list of guidelines they encourage DHS to adopt and enforce.
- In a joint statement, DHS and the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announces the postponement of all hearings set through April 22 related to the Remain in Mexico policy due to the spreading coronavirus. EOIR specified that this does not mean the Remain in Mexico policy is canceled, or any of the hearings.