WASHINGTON — The Biden Administration announced late Thursday it will reimplement a policy that forces migrants at the southern U.S. border to stay in Mexico as they await an immigration hearing.
The Department of Homeland Security said reimplementing the Migrant Protection Protocols policy in mid-November is subject to whether the Mexican government will accept the migrants that the United States government will expel, according to a court filing by Blas Nuñez-Neto, acting assistant secretary of Border and Immigration Policy at DHS.
The Biden administration was forced to restart the program after attempting to end it earlier this year. The U.S. Supreme Court in August denied a request by the administration to stay a lower court order requiring it to restart the policy, also known as “Remain in Mexico.” That essentially forced the administration to resume the policy; DHS has appealed the ruling in the lower courts.
"DHS is taking necessary steps to comply with the court order, which requires us to reimplement MPP in good faith. We are working to do so, despite our appeal of the court’s order," the department said in a statement.
The agency said it is rebuilding temporary immigration hearing facilities at the southwest border and is "working to establish robust COVID-19 protocols" as it prepares to reimplement the policy.
The Mexican government said in a statement Thursday that is has concerns with restarting the policy, including whether migrants will have due process or be given legal assistance as well as concerns over their security.
Last month, DHS announced it would in the coming weeks issue a memorandum ending the "Remain in Mexico" policy that would take effect after the current injunction is lifted.
"The Department remains committed to building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system that upholds our laws and values," DHS said in the statement.
Reach Rebecca Morin at Twitter @RebeccaMorin_
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Remain in Mexico' immigration policy to restart in November, DHS says