(CNN) – The Biden administration plans to restart the Trump-era “Stay in Mexico” border policy next week, according to a senior administration official.
The policy requires non-Mexican migrants to remain in Mexico until the date of their hearing in an immigration court in the United States. The government suspended it at the beginning of President Joe Biden’s term and formally ended months later. But in August, a federal judge in Texas said the Biden administration had violated federal law in the way it had proceeded to roll back the program and demanded that it be reinstated.
Since then, the United States has been in talks with Mexico to reactivate the political controversy. The Department of Homeland Security has also released a second memorandum ending the policy, but it cannot go into effect until the court order is lifted.
The ‘Remain in Mexico’ schedule
As a result, the policy, formally known as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), is expected to begin small, and those registered to be returned to Mexico will have the option of receiving the covid vaccine. -19, the senior administration official told CNN. Axios first reported the expected timeline to restart the policy.
“As we have said previously, a court order requires us to re-implement the MPP. In compliance with the court order, we are working to re-implement the MPP as soon as possible,” a Homeland Security spokesperson said in a statement.
“We cannot do this until we have the independent agreement of the Mexican government to accept the people we intend to register in the MPP. We will inform the court and the public of the time of re-implementation when we are ready to do so,” the spokesperson added.
The early return of the “Stay in Mexico” policy puts the Biden administration on track to have two major Trump-era policies in place on the US-Mexico border by the end of the year, despite fierce criticism from immigrant advocates and Democratic allies. The Trump-era public health order that allows for the swift removal of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border remains in effect.
In a court statement filed last week, Blas Nuñez-Neto, acting undersecretary of Homeland Security for border and immigration policy, said the United States and Mexico were close to finalizing discussions on “Remain in Mexico.”
“We anticipate that pending issues will be resolved shortly and that re-implementation will begin in the coming weeks,” said the statement, dated November 15.
Among the points of discussion between the United States and Mexico is ensuring that cases are heard in a timely manner and that migrants have access to an attorney. In addition to establishing criteria for those who are not subject to the policy, according to officials.
The Department of Homeland Security previously said it is updating policies and procedures to account for COVID-19. It is also preparing contracts to rebuild demountable immigration hearing facilities that came under intense scrutiny during the Trump administration.
The Biden administration also sent notices to legal service providers asking if they wanted to be part of a pro bono list to distribute to migrants enrolled in the “Remain in Mexico” program. But immigrant advocates and attorneys say they are not interested in associating with a policy they condemned under the Trump administration.