Washington. A US border official said on Wednesday that Washington is working to reopen some cases of asylum seekers who were forced to wait in Mexico without being citizens of that country due to policies applied during the administration of former President Donald Trump.
The measure would allow these immigrants to enter the United States to continue their protection requests and mark the latest step President Joe Biden has taken to scrap a Trump-era program known as the Immigrant Protection Protocols (PPM).
Immigrant rights advocates have asked the Biden administration to reopen cases of immigrants who have ordered their deportation after failing to appear on court on time while enrolling in the PPM program.
Activists say some migrants were unable to attend the hearings because they were kidnapped or faced other dangers in Mexico, or due to logistical problems.
Biden, the Democrat who took office on Jan.20, ended the Trump program in February as part of a broader effort to roll back the restrictive policies of his Republican predecessor.
Troy Miller, Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), said Wednesday during a congressional hearing that the United States has already allowed more than 10,000 immigrants with active cases of PPM to enter the country.
Nearly 28,000 immigrants have received a deportation order because they have not appeared in court since the start of the PPM program in 2019, according to Syracuse University’s Records Access Clearinghouse.
BuzzFeed News mentioned the decision Tuesday, citing internal government documents.
Some Republicans attribute the increase in the number of immigrants who have reached the US-Mexico border in recent months, at least in part, to Biden’s decision to end the PPM program.
Immigrant rights advocates and Democrats praised the move, saying the Trump program was denying immigrants the ability to claim asylum in the United States.
Miller said US border authorities are also preparing for the final end of the Trump-era health policy that allows immigrants to be expelled quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Soon after taking office, Biden exempted unaccompanied children from the policy, known as Title 42, but continued to apply it to unmarried adults and some families.