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Biden Administration to Reinstate and Expand Trump-Era “Remain in Mexico” Policy

HeadlineDec 03, 2021

The Biden administration is prepared to reinstate the contested Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy as soon as next week, after it reached an agreement with the Mexican government. This means asylum seekers who arrive at the southern U.S. border will once again be returned and forced to wait in Mexico while their cases are resolved in U.S. courts — a process that can take months or even years. Advocates warn Biden has expanded the program to now potentially include asylum seekers from the entire Western Hemisphere.

This comes despite mounting reports of human rights violations and other grave dangers faced by asylum seekers while stuck in Mexico. This is a Salvadoran asylum seeker in Juárez, Mexico, speaking Thursday from a migrant shelter near the U.S. border. 

Esmeralda Bravo: “I have been here 22 days. Being here for a long time is desperate. We have children, and we are here without our families. To stay here another six months is very difficult. Thank God we have food here. We have everything we need, but it is hard to be without our families.”

Advocates have vowed to continue fighting “Remain in Mexico.” The ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project said in a statement, “The reimplementation of this illegal and cruel policy will inflict on thousands of additional people seeking asylum the same harms that were well documented under its previous implementation: horrific abuse, including torture, rape, and death; and the denial of any meaningful opportunity to obtain asylum.”

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