Biden to slowly allow 25000 asylum seekers into US
Feb 15 2021
US President Joe Biden has rescinded the national emergency at the US-Mexico border issued by former President Donald Trump to justify construction on the border wall, the White House announced on Thursday.
The Biden administration on Friday said it would allow tens of thousands of asylum-seekers waiting in Mexico.
About 70,000 asylum-seekers were enrolled in the programme officially called Migrant Protection Protocols since it was introduced in January 2019.
DHS Chief, Alejandro Mayorkas, who is the first Latino and the first immigrant to head the department, ascertained that Washington is committed to "rebuilding a safe, orderly and humane immigration system".
The agency noted that they would soon announce a virtual registration process that will be accessible from any location.
Department of Homeland Security officials said beginning February 19, USA immigration officials will put in place phase one of a program to begin processing people who were placed in the "remain in Mexico" - also known as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program - which forced tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to await US immigration court dates on the Mexican side of the border.
Tens of thousands of non-Mexican asylum seekers, a lot of them from Central America, were returned under the program to the borders awaiting a study of their asylum applications, which caused a humanitarian crisis in the region exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Homeland Security said the move "shouldn't be interpreted as an opening for people to migrate irregularly to the United States".
On the day Biden was inaugurated, the DHS announced that new registrations of "Remain in Mexico" program should be halted but instructed those that enrolled to remain where they are till the U.S. government says otherwise. Biden earlier signed an executive order to review the policy. It was one in a series of measures that the Trump administration has imposed to restrict asylum and crackdown on unauthorized immigration at the U.S. -Mexico border.
News of the policy change comes a day after White House press secretary Jen Psaki struggled to answer how the administration was working to dispel the belief among migrants that the United States border is open, instead shifting focus to the administration's "moral and humane" immigration policy, amid a almost 100 percent surge of illegal crossings.