The Biden administration will again attempt to end the “Remain in Mexico” policy after a district court ruled that the agency must carry out the program, the Department of Homeland Security announced on Wednesday.
“The Department of Homeland Security intends to issue in the coming weeks a new memorandum terminating the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP),” DHS said in a press release.
The Biden administration earlier this year sought to end the MPP, which requires asylum-seekers who enter the U.S. illegally via the southern border to wait in Mexico until their immigration court hearings. The policy was initially instituted by the Trump administration.
However, a U.S. District Court judge in Texas ruled in August that the administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it attempted to halt the MPP. The Supreme Court declined to block that ruling.
“A new memorandum terminating MPP will not take effect until the current injunction is lifted by court order,” the DHS press release stated. “In the meantime, while the court injunction remains in effect, the Department has been working in good faith to re-start MPP in compliance with the order, and it will continue to do so.”
The announcement comes after Border Patrol agents struggled to process roughly 30,000 migrants who crossed the Rio Grande into Del Rio, Texas, over a span of about two weeks. Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted on Sunday that about 12,000 of those migrants had been released into the U.S., with another 5,000 in DHS processing at the time.
Border Patrol agents encountered 208,887 migrants crossing the southern border illegally in August, just slightly down from the 212,672 migrants encountered in July.