US President, Joe Biden, has announced that it has plans to permit asylum seekers that have been restricted to Mexico by the Donald Trump-led administration.
Biden said that these asylum seekers will be allowed into the US pending the completion of their immigration court hearings.
The Biden administration, which made this known on Friday said it will start admitting these refuge seekers beginning from next week stressing that the policy, which was described as a national shame, has created a humanitarian crisis in the area, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden had instructed the Department of Homeland Security earlier this month to take action to end the controversial “Remain in Mexico” program put in place by his predecessor, Trump. The move was made to dismantle Trump’s most significant policy to prevent asylum seekers into the country.
The agency said, “Beginning on February 19, the Department of Homeland Security will begin phase one of a program to restore safe and orderly processing at the southwest border.”
The policy which is officially known as Migrant Protection Protocols was introduced in January 2019.
According to a senior DHS official who spoke on condition of anonymity, the 70,000 population of these asylum seekers have about 25,000 active COVID-19 cases. He, however, assured that the US plans to test them first before admitting them into the country.
DHS Chief, Alejandro Mayorkas, who is the first Latino and the first immigrant to head the department, ascertained that Washington is committed to “rebuilding a safe, orderly and humane immigration system. This latest action is another step in our commitment to reform immigration policies that do not align with our nation’s values.”
On the day Biden was inaugurated, the DHS announced that new registrations of “Remain in Mexico” program should be halted but instructed those that enrolled to remain where they are till the US government says otherwise.