A federal judge in Texas ruled Friday that the Biden administration must reimplement former President Trump’s border policy that requires migrants to wait in Mexico until their immigration hearing in the United States.
The Migrant Protection Protocols policy, or “remain in Mexico,” forces migrants, many of whom are not originally from Mexico, to stay in Mexico until their U.S. court date. Migrant Protection Protocols has sent 68,000 non-Mexican migrants to Mexico to await their court date since its enactment in 2019. This puts migrants in dangerous situations, leaving them vulnerable to kidnappings, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
The Biden administration suspended the “remain in Mexico,” policy earlier this year. In June, the policy was formally ended by a memo sent by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Texas and Missouri filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration in April, asserting that the administration had violated laws by ending the policy and that revoking the policy would impose significant cost burdens on the states.
U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled in favor of the states and ordered that the policy by revived. The Biden administration has appealed Judge Kacsmaryk’s decision.
Several immigration rights organizations have criticized the court’s decision, noting that the policy leaves migrants vulnerable in refugee camps on the Mexican border.
“Legal or not, it certainly is an inhumane policy,” said legal director Robert Painter of American Gateways, a Texas organization that offers legal services to low-income immigrants and asylum seekers.
Sources: CNN 8/14/21; Texas Tribune 8/16/21; Reuters 8/14/21