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Biden admin is still using a Trump-era order to expel migrants despite ending ‘remain in Mexico’

Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF

The Biden administration continues rapidly expelling most migrants under a Trump-era public health order despite ending the former administration’s “Remain in Mexico” program, officials announced Tuesday.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas formally ended the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) requiring people to wait in Mexico as their cases proceeded through immigration courts. However, the Biden administration continues to rapidly expel most migrants under the Trump-era Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) public health order known as Title 42 implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Customs and Border Protection officials expelled around 295,000 migrants at the southern border under Title 42 from February through April, according to the agency. Mayorkas said border officials will continue exercising Title 42 removals in accordance with CDC guidelines, the DCNF reported.

“Now that DHS Secretary Mayorkas ended the Migrant Protection Protocols, asylum seekers who had to wait in Mexico during the Trump administration will be processed through the immigration court system inside the United States,” Syracuse University Assistant Research Professor Dr. Austin Kocher told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Yet the move signals that the Biden administration will not be using that particular approach to managing the border going forward.” Kocher told the DCNF. “At the same time, the administration continues to turn back migrants back at the border – including many new asylum seekers – under the Title 42 policy that was implemented under the Trump administration.”

Mayorkas conducted a review of MPP and decided the program should end since enrolled migrants weren’t always able to attend their immigration hearings in the U.S. because of unsafe conditions and a lack of access to resources in Mexico. Immigration court hearings regarding MPP cases were paused in March 2020 due to COVID-19.

“In some ways, the termination of MPP is a formality,” Kocher said. “The Biden administration stopped enrolling new asylum seekers on day one of the administration.”

The program also burdened border officials, over 25% of migrants enrolled in MPP were apprehended attempting to illegally cross into the U.S, according to Mayorkas.

“The administration has not signaled if and when it might end the Title 42 policy,” Kocher said.

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