Mexico announced Tuesday the end of the ‘Stay in Mexico’ program for migrants, a policy implemented by former President Donald Trump that forced thousands of asylum seekers to wait in the country until the date of their hearings in the United States.
Biden already indicated in August that the Department of Homeland Security would begin to phase out the program gradually after a federal judge in Texas annulled the order to reinstate this policy, described by international organizations such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) as an «aberration».
According to a statement issued by the Mexican Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, since June 19, migrants have stopped being returned under this program to areas such as Tijuana or Baja California due to the lack of space in shelters.
In view of the end of this provision, Mexico has stressed that it «will continue to guarantee» protection in its national territory to all migrants, including humanitarian care and administration of COVID-19 tests, as well as assistance for positive cases of the virus.
Formally called ‘Migrant Protection Protocols’ (MPP), the program, implemented in 2019 by Trump, prohibited asylum seekers from Central America from entering the United States while the courts deliberated on their status.
Biden suspended this ‘roadmap’ on his first day in office, leaving it pending review. However, Texas and Missouri sued the Administration over the suspension of the program in a legal battle whereby they argued that ending it placed a burden on the states because migrants used state services to get both driver’s licenses and hospital care in the pandemic setting.