The Department of Homeland Security recently announced that they plan to re-issue a memorandum ending the crucial Remain in Mexico program. The announcement comes as the Central American nation of Panama warns the U.S. that another caravan as large as 60,000 predominantly Haitian migrants could be on its way to the southern border.
In January, President Biden suspended the MPP program. Still, it wasn't until June that DHS officially terminating the program, telling employees in an official memo it would no longer be enforcing the program.
Texas and Missouri's Attorneys General immediately stood up for the American people and sued the Biden Administration arguing that DHS Secretary Mayorkas failed to provide any justification for ending the program.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk from the Northern District of Texas then ordered the Biden administration to revive the program staying his ruling until Aug. 21 to provide time for appeal. On Aug. 19, a panel for the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Administration's argument on appeal, finding that ending the program "has caused an increase in unlawful immigration in Texas."
The federal government then filed an emergency motion to the Supreme Court requesting a stay. Justice Alito granted the Federal Government's request and blocked the reinstatement of the policy to allow the Biden Admin. to file additional documents.
On Aug. 24, The highest court finally declined to intervene. The unsigned SCOTUS order noted that Associate Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan would have granted the Biden administration's request to end the life-saving program.
At the time, DHS Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, stated:
The Department of Homeland Security respectfully disagrees with the district court's decision and regrets that the Supreme Court declined to issue a stay. DHS has appealed the district court's order and will continue to vigorously challenge it. As the appeal process continues, however, DHS will comply with the order in good faith. Alongside interagency partners, DHS has begun to engage with the Government of Mexico in diplomatic discussions surrounding the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
Between Aug. 24 and now, the Biden Administration erroneously told the judge that they could not restart the 'Remain in Mexico' program as they were waiting on international talks on the matter to resume between the United States and Mexico.
Now, the Department has announced their intentions to attempt once more to end the Migrant Protection Protocols, stating that a new memorandum will be submitted within the next couple of weeks. However, the announcement made sure to note that any new memorandum terminating MPP will not take effect until a court order lifts the current injunction.
The entire announcement is included below.
The Department of Homeland Security intends to issue in the coming weeks a new memorandum terminating the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Although the Department issued a June 2021 memorandum that terminated MPP, a Texas district court vacated that prior termination determination and issued an injunction that requires the Department to work in good faith to restart MPP. The Department has appealed that injunction.
A new memorandum terminating MPP will not take effect until the current injunction is lifted by court order. In issuing a new memorandum terminating MPP, the Department intends to address the concerns raised by the courts with respect to the prior memorandum.
In the meantime, while the court injunction remains in effect, the Department has been working in good faith to restart MPP in compliance with the order, and it will continue to do so. To that end, the Department, working with the Department of State, is engaged in ongoing and high-level diplomatic discussions with Mexico. Simultaneously, the Department has instituted an interagency Task Force to efficiently rebuild the infrastructure and reapportioning the staffing that will be needed to restart MPP once that concurrence has been obtained. Among many other steps, the Task Force is updating policies and procedures to account for COVID-19 and preparing to put in place contracts to rebuild the soft-sided Immigration Hearing Facilities used for court proceedings associated with MPP.
The Department remains committed to building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system that upholds our laws and values. The Department also continues to process individuals in accordance with U.S. law and our mission.
Updated: Thu, Oct 14th 2021 @ 4:55pm EDT