DHS: Remain in Mexico is officially over

Source: Hot Air

It took nearly two months for Joe Biden to exploit his surprise win at the Supreme Court and finally end Donald Trump’s asylum policy. It may take a lot shorter time for Biden’s fellow Democrats to regret it. The Department of Homeland Security announced late yesterday that they would end the Remain in Mexico policy — just as mayors in New York City and Washington DC are feeling the fallout of Biden’s border crisis:

Several thousand migrants forced to wait in Mexico under a Trump-era program gradually will be allowed to enter the United States to pursue their asylum claims in coming weeks and months, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on Monday.

The move comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Democratic President Joe Biden in his administration’s bid to end the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, which pushed non-Mexican migrants back to Mexico to await resolution of their U.S. cases, which sometimes took months or years.

The Biden administration will no longer enroll migrants in MPP and those currently waiting in Mexico will be removed from the program and allowed to enter the United States as they return for their next scheduled court dates, DHS said in a statement.

That’s several thousand now. The end of the disincentives that Remain in Mexico provided will likely result in a flood of new applicants that will now be allowed to wait in the US while their claims are adjudicated. When nearly all of those applications get rejected — the rejection rate usually exceeds 90% — those applicants will be expelled … if we can find them. Most of them do not show up for court dates and deportations, of course, which is why Donald Trump imposed Remain in Mexico in the first place.

That makes this a dangerous move, both in terms of border security and in a political sense as well. Governors Greg Abbott and Doug Ducey have forced Washington DC and New York City — and the media based in those cities — to start recognizing the reality of Biden’s border crisis. Ending the Remain in Mexico program will make that problem even worse, and both Texas and Arizona will likely put more of the released applicants and border-crossers in buses for DC and the Big Apple, and perhaps a few other big cities well off the border like Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, and so on.

Just in the past few days, Bloomberg’s editors urged Biden to adopt Remain in Mexico, at least until a similarly effective set of disincentives could be erected. They weren’t exactly kind about Biden’s ineptitude so far, either:

As for Biden? He’s been trying to shut down both programs since the start of his presidency, without specifying plausible alternatives. He has proposed a funding cut for border apprehensions and removals. He published an ill-conceived reform structure that seemed to act as an invitation for further migration without laying the necessary groundwork. Vice President Kamala Harris — deputized by Biden to head up a response to the crisis — has spent just three days in Latin America over 16 months.

Such inattention has allowed obvious problems at the border to fester, while giving unauthorized migrants the false hope that they’ll be allowed entry to the US.

The bottom line is that all asylum seekers have a right to have their claims heard in court, yet the US must ensure the system doesn’t get completely overwhelmed. Of the imperfect options available, Remain in Mexico (formally, the Migrant Protection Protocols) makes the most sense.

Instead, we’re going back to January 2021, when Biden attempted to dismantle Remain in Mexico the first time and triggered a migrant wave that’s still rolling across the border. Biden still hasn’t articulated a coherent border policy that will provide disincentives for massive breaches of the border and abuse of the asylum-application process. Rather, he’s going back to what has been called “catch and release” at the precise moment that Democrats are about to lose long-held districts in the border region and as blue-state cities finally start paying a price for his border crisis.

About the only way this makes sense is that Biden thinks the crisis will force a settlement on immigration policy. It’s much more likely to produce a Republican Congress that will change the terms on such a settlement, and not to Biden’s liking.