Former President Donald Trump criticized the Biden administration for ending the “Remain in Mexico” initiative, saying President Joe Biden “doesn’t want America to be a nation at all.”
Trump was critical in an emailed statement Wednesday, after the Biden Administration announced on Tuesday their decision to end the program known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also nicknamed the Remain in Mexico policy. This is the program which forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while U.S. Immigration courts processed their cases.
In his statement, former President Trump said, “The ‘Remain in Mexico’ was not only a historic foreign policy triumph but one of the most successful border security programs anyone has put into effect anywhere.”
“No American President had ever done more to defend the border and safeguard the whole immigration system,” Trump avowed. “Joe Biden is the first American President who doesn’t want America to be a nation at all,” Trump added.
MPP was a particularly controversial element, but also was the cornerstone of Trump’s immigration policies, something he claims, along with our Central America Safe Third agreements, asylum reforms, and expedited removal procedures, helped drive immigration across the U.S.-Mexico broader to record lows.
It did force tens of thousands of non-Mexican asylum seekers to wait out their cases in dangerous conditions in Mexican cities along the U.S. border. It was put into place in part because of a growing frustration among immigration restrictionists that potential asylum seekers were not always incarcerated awaiting decision.
In most asylum cases, potential asylees are released into the country after passing an initial screening with a notice to appear in court, a process Trump derisively calls ‘catch and release.’
Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), a George W. Bush era law that includes provisions for unaccompanied minors and prevention of human trafficking, U.S. officials are limited in how much time they can hold asylum applicants. In 2019, the Trump Administration announced the “Remain in Mexico” program, which got around the custody time limits set in place by (TVPRA) by releasing the asylum seekers into Mexico rather than the U.S.
“The Biden Administration inherited the most secure border in history, and they turned it into the greatest border disaster in history. Our border is now run by cartels, criminals, and coyotes. Illegal immigrants, gang members, and lethal drugs are pouring across like never before. Not only are Illegal immigrants being caught and released, they are being put up in hotels at taxpayer expense. Our country is being destroyed before our very eyes,” Trump wrote.
Trump also said, “Biden’s disastrous decision to formally end the Remain in Mexico policy is proof that their objective is to eliminate the U.S. border entirely and flood the country with so many illegal aliens that every community is overwhelmed.”
U.S. Representatives Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Homeland Security subcommittee on border security, facilitation, and operations, applauded the decision on Tuesday. The policy, which forced potential asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico as their cases were pending in immigration court, ended on Tuesday, the Biden administration said.
Trump’s statement was followed shortly by a statement from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). “In just a few short months, President Biden’s actions have created the worst humanitarian, national security, and public health crisis ever seen at out southern border,” wrote McCarthy, echoing attacks that Republicans have leveled against Biden since his inauguration amid a surge in migrants at the border.
“Now, he’s adding fuel to the fire by formally ending the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). First implemented under the Trump Administration, this orderly process worked by requiring migrants to remain in Mexico until their asylum process was complete. If it was determined their asylum request was valid, they would then be allowed into the United States,” added McCarthy.
Before Tuesday’s announcement, according to the Biden administration, they had allowed about 11,000 MPP migrants into the country for humanitarian reasons.