Washington: The Biden administration formally terminated the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, also known as the Remain in Mexico policy, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a memorandum.
“I direct DHS [Department of Homeland Security] personnel to take all appropriate actions to terminate MPP, including taking all steps necessary to rescind implementing guidance and other directives or policy guidance issued to implement the program,” Mayorkas said in the memorandum on Tuesday.
Under the MPP, thousands of asylum-seeking migrants mostly from Central America were forced to wait in Mexico until their immigration court proceedings were completed in the United States. Some migrants waited up to several years while others became discouraged and settled in Mexico, returned to their country of origin or illegally crossed into the United States.
President Joe Biden halted the MPP program through an executive order immediately after being sworn into office on January 20. The memorandum noted that as of May 25 about 11,200 migrants enrolled in MPP have been processed in the United States under Biden’s plan to process them in a phased and orderly manner.
Moreover, Mayrkas said the MPP intended to reduce the burdens on border security resources but imposed additional responsibilities on immigration enforcement personnel and increased asylum claim backlogs.
The MPP program faced challenges, risks and costs that far outweighed the benefits, Mayorkas added.