The policy required asylum seekers who passed through Mexico on their way to the U.S. to stay in Mexico while their claims were processed. Many were forced to live in sometimes dangerous and unsanitary migrant camps.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday sued the Biden administration in an attempt to restore a policy put in place by former President Donald Trump that forced migrants seeking asylum in the United States to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed.
Paxton and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt argue in the suit that the Biden administration’s move to suspend the so-called “remain in Mexico” policy was an “arbitrary and capricious decision.” The attorneys general are asking the court to reinstate the enforcement of the program nationwide and to award Texas and Missouri “the costs of this action and reasonable attorney’s fees.”
The Trump administration first implemented the Migrant Protection Protocols program in January 2019 in what it described as an effort to “allow more resources to be dedicated to individuals who legitimately qualify for asylum,” according to then-U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The policy required asylum seekers who passed through Mexico on their way to the U.S. to stay in Mexico while their claims were processed in U.S. courts. Previously, migrants could wait inside the U.S. for a court decision, which would often take months or years.
More than 70,000 migrants who were enrolled in the MPP program were sent back to Mexico. Many were forced to live in sometimes dangerous and unsanitary migrant camps.
Photo: Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune