The Biden administration says they will enforce and implement the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the Remain in Mexico policy, by mid-November. The announcement followed an order from District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas.
The Migrant Protection Protocols were enacted in 2019 under President Donald Trump as a means of processing illegal aliens requesting asylum in the U.S. By leaving the asylum-seekers in Mexico until their court date, the U.S. was absolved of housing them in detention facilities for the intervening months. Since it often took six months for a court date, the illegal aliens were returned to the Mexican side of the border, where they took shelter in tent cities or homeless shelters.
The program began in 2019 and did not last long; it was suspended in March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Trump instead used the public health authority known as Title 42 to deport illegal aliens. On President Joe Biden’s first day in office, the Department of Homeland Security announced it was suspending all new enrollment in the MPP program. Over the next few months, the DHS phased out MPP; on June 1, 2021, the program was officially terminated.
Following Judge Kacsmaryk’s decision, the DHS and the Biden administration appealed the decision and requested a stay on the order until the hearing for the appeal. The stay was denied by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals as well as the Supreme Court.
Currently, the Biden administration says they are engaging in a diplomatic discussion with Mexico in regards to the logistics of the Remain in Mexico policy, since it will directly affect the Mexican government as well. The Biden administration is also purportedly seeking avenues to limit the scope of the MPP program and provide the asylum-seekers of the MPP program with better living conditions in Mexico and access to attorneys for a faster legal process.
This light version of the policy could be insufficient for dealing with the current border crisis that Texas, in particular, is facing.
In recent months, illegal immigration has spiked across Texas’ southern border. In the absence of action from the federal government, it may be up to Texas to protect its borders.