The U.S. on Friday began admitting migrants waiting in Mexico for their immigration cases to be processed — as the Biden administration moves to wind down the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), a move critics say could fuel a new border crisis.
The program, known as the “Remain-in-Mexico” policy and agreed to with Mexico, was a key component of the Trump administration’s efforts to curb the 2019 border crisis and end “catch-and-release” — by which migrants were released into the U.S. to await their hearings.
MPP set up court tents at the border where migrants could have their hearings and cases processed and then would return to Mexico to await the result. Proponents said it stopped the pull factors bringing migrants north, and was effective in weeding out illegitimate asylum claims. But critics claimed it was cruel and designed to close the border — pointing also to squalid conditions in camps set up on the Mexican side of the border.Biden ordered a review of MPP after entering office, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced last week that it would begin to process migrants placed in the program.