US President Joe Biden will allow at least 10,000 deported asylum seekers to return to the United States.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the Biden administration will allow thousands of migrants to come to the US to renew their asylum requests, offering them a second chance as the White House fixes border rules set under President Trump.
The Associated Press has reported that registration began on June 23, 2021, for asylum-seekers who were subject to the “Remain in Mexico” policy and either had their cases dismissed or denied for failing to appear in court.
People who get asylum quickly obtain citizenship and the right to vote. Illegal foreigners or migrants will be allowed back in from Mexico to restart their court hearings.
Nearly 28,000 immigrants were forced into the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) under the Trump administration and ordered to be deported without being present at their last hearing or “in absentia”.
In addition to conditions being too dangerous to travel to the US – Mexico border, some immigrants missed their hearings because they were kidnapped by cartels. Others were too sick or denied entry because they were pregnant.
The policy, first implemented by the Trump administration in 2019, led to tens of thousands of asylum-seekers being forced to stay in Mexico as they waited for their day in a US court.
About 70,000 asylum seekers were enrolled in “Remain in Mexico,” officially called “Migrant Protection Protocols,” since it was introduced in January 2019.
Often left with nowhere to go but squalid camps in Mexican border towns, human rights activists reported cases of the immigrants being kidnapped, raped, and tortured.
However, Michele Klein Solomon, the International Organization for Migration´s director for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean, told the AP that she estimated at least 10,000.
Solomon’s organization is also working closely with the administration to bring people to the border and ensure they test negative for COVID-19 before being allowed in the country.
Nearly 7,000 asylum-seekers had their cases dismissed in San Diego. Another 32,000 had their applications denied, mostly in Texas. Many have already left the main border region thinking their cases were over.
The official said the administration is aware of those dangers and considering bringing people to the United States, as it is doing to reunite families that remain separated years after Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal crossings.
On Biden’s first day in office, the Homeland Security Department suspended the policy for new arrivals.
“As part of our continued effort to restore safe, orderly, and humane processing at the Southwest Border, DHS will expand the pool of MPP-enrolled individuals who are eligible for processing into the United States,” the notice stated.
Biden is quickly making good on a campaign promise to end the policy, which the Trump administration said was critical to reversing a surge of asylum seekers that peaked in 2019.
“As President Biden has made clear, the US government is committed to rebuilding a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system, this latest action is another step in our commitment to reform immigration policies that do not align with our nation’s values,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.
Migrant children are being housed in pop-up shelters and there have reports of overcrowding, long stay times, spoiled or undercooked food, and lack of access to showers or clean clothes. Some reported depression while others described trouble sleeping.
“The food here is horrible, yesterday we were given hamburgers but I couldn’t eat it because there was a foul odor coming from the bread,” a 13-year-old girl from Honduras wrote. ” I really only eat popsicles and juice because that is the only food that I can trust.”
Joe Biden’s administration promised in March that migrant families won’t spend more than 72 hours in U.S. facilities, but some claim they have been at the shelters for 60 days or longer.
Lawyers were given access to speak with children in these facilities and conducted site visits at the emergency shelters.
Human Rights First has calculated at least 1,544 public reports of murder, rape, and other attacks committed against people in MPP. But in only about 2% of cases ruled by a judge were migrants able to get some type of relief like protection.