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U.S. Restarting ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy for Asylum-Seekers

Books and HammerIn order to enter the United States, migrants will need to stay in Mexico while waiting for immigration hearings. The Biden administration has released a statement to comply with a court order and accept conditions set out by Mexico for resuming the Trump-era policy.

To learn more about this policy and how it might affect you, do not wait to reach out to a skilled NYC family immigration attorney at Katona & Associates, PLLC.

Homeland Security Secretary Sees the Policy to Have “Endemic Flaws”

According to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the policy has “endemic flaws, imposed unjustifiable human costs, pulled resources and personnel away from other priority efforts, and failed to address the root causes of irregular migration.”

Migrants included in this policy are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Adults will obtain the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which demands only one dose, while children who are qualified under U.S. guidelines will get the Pfizer shot and will obtain the second shots when they reach the U.S. for their first hearings.

In many instances, cases are sought to be finished within 180 days, as Mexico has expressed concerns that they will decline. The Justice Department plans to assign 22 immigration judges to work only on these cases.

The U.S. Is Trying to Ensure Migrants’ Safety

The Biden administration has voiced concerns over migrants’ safety when they need to travel to and from the court in the U.S. and Mexico. Further, migrants from Laredo and Brownsville will be moved to locations further inside Mexico because they are more secure.

U.S. officials haven’t communicated how many will be processed daily. The administration has kept in place another Trump-era policy that allows it to return Central Americans to Mexico on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Migrants will have the ability to meet with lawyers before each hearing. The State Department is working with Mexico on locations for video and phone access to lawyers in the U.S.

Also, Mexico released a statement saying that “vulnerable” people should be excused, including unaccompanied children, pregnant women, physically or mentally ill people, older people, indigenous people, and members of the LGBTQ community.

However, a number of U.S.-based legal aid groups that have represented asylum-seekers waiting in Mexico are now saying that they will not be taking these cases anymore, which adds inquiries to the U.S. power to provide migrants with better access to legal counsel. Administration officials say they think there are sufficiently other lawyers who will represent asylum-seekers sent back to Mexico.

Contact our firm to learn more about this with an experienced NYC family immigration attorney.

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