On Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas ended the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), better known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, The Hill reported. The policy required migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. from countries besides Mexico to remain in Mexico while the U.S. processed their requests. This policy helped keep the border in check and allowed the U.S. to prioritize migrants who truly needed asylum. Biden paused the program on his first day and migrants have rushed to the border.
Former President Donald Trump blasted the move, noting that his policies secured the border, while Biden’s reversals have sparked a crisis.
“Remain in Mexico, also known as MPP (Migrant Protection Protocols), was not only a historic foreign policy triumph but one of the most successful border security programs anyone has ever put into effect anywhere,” Trump said. “Along with our Central America Safe Third agreements, asylum reforms, and expedited removal procedures we drove border numbers to record lows and we ENDED the horrendous practice known as Catch-and-Release.”
“No American President had ever done more to defend the border and safeguard the whole immigration system,” Trump claimed.
“The Biden Administration inherited the most secure border in history, and they turned it into the greatest border disaster in history,” the former president argued. “Our border is now run by cartels, criminals, and coyotes. Illegal immigrants, gang members, and lethal drugs are pouring across like never before. Not only are illegal immigrants being caught and released, they are being put up in hotels at taxpayer expense.”
While the former president engaged in a good bit of hyperbole, his policies did indeed bring relative calm to the southern border, and Biden’s rush to reverse them has triggered a crisis.
April marked a 21-year record high in the number of immigrants stopped at the southern border. Unaccompanied children were packed into border facilities like sardines in a can. Caravans of migrants arrived at the border with t-shirts asking Biden to let them in.
As for the MPP, Biden paused the program shortly after taking office on January 20, and he has allowed around 11,000 formerly MPP asylum-seekers into the country.
House Democrats praised the move. Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.) claimed MPP “was a stain on our nation’s history and our longstanding tradition of protecting refugees and asylum seekers.”
“Despite Republican efforts to misrepresent U.S. asylum law and smear those fleeing violence and seeking asylum, we must remember that it is completely legal to come to the U.S. border and seek asylum,” the Democrats claimed.
The Trump policy did not make it illegal to seek asylum, but it did prevent migrants who seek asylum from disappearing into the country while officials are busy processing their cases. Not everyone who seeks asylum should receive it, and it makes sense to prevent bad actors from abusing the system.
Perhaps most importantly, Biden’s MPP reversal further underscores the Democrat’s pro-immigration policy, sending the message that he will welcome more migrants, legal or otherwise. This perception has encouraged increased immigration, straining the entire system.
MPP may not have been the key to maintaining border security, but it helped the Trump administration keep the situation under control. Its reversal will only worsen the Biden border crisis.