DHS May be Defying Court Order by Failing to Properly Enforce Remain in Mexico Policy
The Biden administration may be defying a court order by failing to properly enforce a Trump policy that makes illegal immigrants wait in Mexico—rather than in the U.S.—for asylum hearings, a senior Homeland Security official confirmed this week. Known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) or Remain in Mexico, the policy was implemented in 2019 to mitigate the humanitarian and security crisis ignited by an unprecedented surge in migrants from Central America. MPP was designed to help restore a safe and orderly immigration process, decrease the number of those taking advantage of the immigration system, and the ability of smugglers and traffickers to prey on vulnerable populations, and reduce threats to life, national security, and public safety, while ensuring that vulnerable populations receive the protections they need. More than 70,000 migrants were returned to Mexico under the program before the Biden administration terminated it in June 2021.
But two states—Texas and Missouri—sued the administration for revoking MPP, arguing that the termination process was unlawful and that more illegal immigrants would be released in their state, leaving them with the cost of providing the migrants with public services. A Texas federal judge sided with the states in August and MPP was reportedly reinstated by December, sending illegal aliens back to Mexico to wait for court hearings to determine their removal. The government appealed and in February the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case with oral arguments scheduled for this month. In the meantime, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must comply with the judge’s ruling, though agency officials tell Judicial Watch the administration is violating the spirit of the law by play-acting at MPP enforcement in a minimalist style to keep from being held in contempt for blowing off the court order.
A senior U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) official in Texas told Judicial Watch during a recent visit to the southern border that 130 illegal immigrants per day are permitted to be tagged for the MPP program. Only about 40 of the 130 nominated each day get returned to Mexico, the CBP source confirmed. “That keeps the court happy,” according to a DHS veteran, who offered a recent example of how the Biden administration is skirting the law. A single male who was apprehended revealed that he is married and has four children in Mexico. After authorities identified him for MPP, he was put on a 24-hour “legal hold” for consultation with various volunteer legal organizations. The leftist aid groups actively encouraged the Mexican man to declare himself lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) because it is one of the many exempt categories to bypass MPP. “Presto!” a top federal border official declared, referring to the case. “He’s free.” Similar stories occur daily at the busiest southern border crossings, sources tell Judicial Watch.
The Biden administration has been under tremendous pressure from the nation’s most influential open borders groups to terminate MPP and promptly offer all illegal aliens some sort of asylum or amnesty in the U.S. Earlier this year Judicial Watch reported that legal aid groups stepped up the pressure by refusing to help migrants sent back south of the border under MPP because the measure is racist, inhumane, and utterly evil. In a letter to the president, vice president and various top government officials, a coalition of pro immigrant legal service providers said they refused to be complicit in the administration’s restart of MPP. In the letter they call the program “horrific, racist, and unlawful.” They also slam the administration for unjustly forcing American lawyers and humanitarian staff to risk their safety by going down to Mexico to assist migrants. Many of the same politically connected open border organizations also wrote to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to demand he reject the reinstatement of MPP, which they describe as inhumane. “For two years, this policy erected insurmountable due process barriers and inflicted extreme harm on the more than 72,000 individuals seeking protection who were returned to Mexico to await their U.S. immigration hearings,” the letter to López Obrador states, adding that as a sovereign nation Mexico has the right to reject the reinstatement of MPP.