After a series of legal battles, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced this past week that it had ended the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” border policy, which required all asylum-seekers (even non-Mexicans) to stay in Mexico while awaiting their U.S. immigration court hearings. Despite suspending the policy on his first day in office in January 2021, President Biden has faced countless roadblocks to fulfill a campaign promise and have the controversial policy officially rescinded.
Shortly after “Remain in Mexico” was suspended, the state governments of Texas and Missouri sued to keep the policy in place. In August 2021, a Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas ordered that the policy remain active, ruling that the U.S. government was required to return asylum-seekers to Mexico, even if those in question were not Mexican citizens. The Biden administration then turned to the U.S. Supreme Court to request that the decision to retain the policy be overturned.
“Remain in Mexico” has faced harsh criticism since the former Trump administration introduced it as a border enforcement tactic in January 2019. Nearly 70,000 migrants have been affected by the policy, many of which were exposed to inhumane conditions and violence at the U.S.-Mexico border. In their official statement, DHS said the program would be disbanded in a “quick, orderly manner,” and that moving forward, asylum-seekers will not be returned to Mexico after appearing in the U.S. for their court hearings.