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Mexico rejects possible ‘Remain in Mexico’ revamp plan

Haitian migrants who hope to apply for asylum in the US wait to register their names on a list made by a religious organization in Reynosa, Mexico, Dec 21, 2022, on the other side of the border with McAllen, Texas. (PHOTO / AP)

MEXICO CITY – The Mexican government said on Monday it had informed the United States that it rejects a possible US re-implementation of an immigration policy known as "Remain in Mexico," which required asylum seekers to wait for hearings in Mexico.

In December, a US judge paused President Joe Biden's attempt to end the program. US authorities later told Mexico's foreign ministry the program would start up again, the ministry said in a statement.

Mexico's decision leaves the future of the program unclear.

Mexico added on Monday that it supported US immigration program "Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)" to allow some populations, such as Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans, to enter the US through an appointment system

Biden had sought to end the Trump-era program, known officially as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), upon entering office. Republican-led states such as Texas and Missouri filed a lawsuit to keep the program active.

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A federal court order forced the Biden administration to restart MPP in late 2021, which Mexico agreed to on several conditions such as expanding health policies and collaboration with international groups, the foreign ministry said.

Some 74,000 migrants went through Mexico under the program during Trump's administration, it added. Under Biden, just 7,500 entered Mexico through MPP.

Mexico added on Monday that it supported the US immigration program to allow some populations, such as Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans, to enter the United States through an appointment system.

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Human rights organizations have pushed for other nationalities to be included under the new program.