Sept. 30 (UPI) — The Biden administration said Wednesday it intends to try again to terminate the Trump administration-era “Remain in Mexico” policy after a judge last month barred it from ending the controversial immigration rule.
The Department of Homeland Security announced its decision to issue a new memorandum in a statement, saying it will again attempt to try and terminate the program “in the coming weeks.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had announced in June the termination of the policy, which forced tens of thousands of asylum seekers to await their U.S. court dates in Mexico, following a review that was ordered by President Joe Biden in February through executive order.
Mayorkas said the policy did not enhance border security and that while it intended to rapidly adjudicate asylum claims it did not always ensure the conditions in Mexico would enable applicants would be able to attend their immigration hearings in the United States while imposing additional responsibilities on U.S. security personnel “that detracted from the department’s critically important mission sets.”
The decision was met with opposition from GOP lawmakers, and was challenged in court by the states of Texas and Missouri with a judge ruling last month that the Biden administration must reinstate and enforce “in good faith” the so-called Remain in Mexico policy as the decision to terminate it was “arbitrary” and in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.
The policy was implemented in late January 2019 and continued until Biden halted it on his first day in office after some 68,000 asylum seekers were forced to await court dates in Mexico.
The DHS said Wednesday that it has appealed the Texas court’s decision but has also been working “in good faith” to restart the program in compliance with the order.
The new termination memorandum will be issued once the ongoing litigation is completed, it said.
“A new memorandum terminating MPP will not take effect until the current injunction is lifted by court order,” the federal department said. “In issuing a new memorandum terminating MPP, the department intends to address the concerns raised by the courts with respect to the prior memorandum.”