Time line for Stay in Mexico Policy Jan 2019 – Dec 2021

January 2019 Trump Administration introduces the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Usually referred to as the “Remain in Mexico” program. Under MPP, individuals who arrived at the southern border and asked for asylum (either at a port of entry or after crossing the border between ports of entry) were given notices to appear in immigration court and sent back to Mexico.

March 2020 The Supreme Court, reversing an appellate court order, allows the Trump administration to maintain the Remain in Mexico Program. The Justice Department told the court that without a stay from the Supreme Court the appeals court’s ruling was “virtually guaranteed to impose irreparable harm by prompting a rush on the border and potentially requiring the government to allow into the United States and detain thousands of aliens who lack any entitlement to enter this country, or else to release them into the interior where many will simply disappear.”

March 2020 Candidate Biden tweets “Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy is dangerous, inhumane, and goes against everything we stand for as a nation of immigrants. My administration will end it.”

January 2021 Biden’s DHS on the first day of his administration suspends all new enrollments in MPP, ending people being sent back to Mexico. It undertakes to terminare the program.

August 2021 As part of a lawsuit brought by the states of Texas and Missouri, a federal judge orders the Biden administration to “enforce and implement MPP in good faith until such a time as it has been lawfully rescinded in compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act” and until such a time as the federal government has sufficient detention capacity to detain asylum seekers. The Supreme Court agrees with the ruling.

September 2021 the Biden administration discloses that it had begun internal deliberations about reinstating a “lite” version of MPP and was engaged in diplomatic negotiations with the government of Mexico, and that no person could be sent back to Mexico without that country’s cooperation. However, DHS Secretary Mayorkas writes in October that MPP should be terminated.

October 2021 DHA issues another termination of the program designed to overcome the objections to its initial termination (Texas law suit),

December 2021 The Biden Administration introduces a revised version of MPP. Per the administration, changes to the Trump program include better access to legal representation, resolution of applications within six months, safer shelters in Mexico, work permits in Mexico, and health care.

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