Trump rips Biden for ending ‘Remain in Mexico’ program: A ‘disastrous decision’
Former President Trump on Wednesday panned the Biden administration’s decision to end his border management program dubbed “Remain in Mexico.”
The Biden administration on Tuesday announced the end of the program, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while U.S. immigration courts processed their cases.
Trump criticized Biden for the decision in a statement packed with broad claims of MPP’s success.
“The Biden Administration inherited the most secure border in history, and they turned it into the greatest border disaster in history,” wrote Trump, adding that Tuesday’s move was a “disastrous decision.”
MPP was a particularly controversial element of Trump’s wider immigration policy, as it forced tens of thousands of non-Mexican asylum seekers to wait out their cases in dangerous conditions in Mexican cities along the U.S. border.
The policy was put in place by the Trump administration in part because of a growing frustration among immigration restrictionists that potential asylum seekers were not always incarcerated while their cases were pending.
In most asylum cases, potential asylees are released into the country after passing an initial screening with a notice to appear in court, a process Trump derisively calls “catch and release.”
Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), a George W. Bush-era law that includes provisions for unaccompanied minors and prevention of human trafficking, U.S. officials are limited in how much time they can hold asylum applicants.
Trump failed to move significant immigration legislation through Congress, including a plan to repeal all or parts of the TVPRA, which he called “catch and release loopholes.”
In 2019, the Trump administration announced the “Remain in Mexico” program, which got around the custody time limits set in place by TVPRA by releasing the asylum seekers into Mexico rather than the U.S.
“Remain in Mexico, also known as MPP (Migrant Protection Protocols), was not only a historic foreign policy triumph but one of the most successful border security programs anyone has ever put into effect anywhere,” Trump wrote in Wednesday’s statement.
Trump’s statement was followed shortly by a statement from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
“In just a few short months, President Biden’s actions have created the worst humanitarian, national security, and public health crisis ever seen at our southern border,” wrote McCarthy, echoing attacks that Republicans have leveled against Biden since his inauguration amid a surge in migrants at the border.
“Now, he is adding fuel to the fire by formally ending the Migrant Protection Protocols. First implemented under the Trump administration, this orderly process worked by requiring migrants to remain in Mexico until their asylum process was complete. If it was determined their asylum request was valid, they would then be allowed into the United States,” added McCarthy.
While the bilateral agreement that facilitated the establishment of MPP required Mexico to provide health care, education, security and sanitary services to the awaiting asylum seekers, more often than not migrants ended up in dangerous refugee camps, beset by crime and poor sanitation.
Neither Trump nor McCarthy touched on Mexico’s role in implementing MPP.
Before Tuesday’s announcement, the Biden administration had allowed about 11,000 MPP migrants into the country for humanitarian reasons.
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