Some migrants rejected for asylum under the Trump administration’s "Remain in Mexico" policy will have their cases reconsidered by the Department of Homeland Security, The New York Times reports.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden officially ended the Migrant Protection Protocols, which allowed border officials to send migrants back to Mexico to wait for their cases to make it through the crowded U.S. immigration system.
DHS said Tuesday the move to reconsider cases was "part of our continued effort to restore safe, orderly, and humane processing at the southwest border," the Times said.
"DHS will expand the pool of MPP-enrolled individuals who are eligible for processing into the United States," DHS said, according to The Hill. "DHS will continue to process for entry into the United States MPP enrollees with pending proceedings."
The Times reported the DHS’ move, to begin Wednesday, could affect more than 34,000 people.
American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Judy Rabinovitz told the Times the process likely will be long, as asylum seekers would not have been informed what they need to submit. She added there was no guarantee a judge will grant a motion to reopen their case or grant them asylum.
Many progressives have said asylum seekers enrolled in the program had their cases closed because they could not appear at their court hearings.
"By keeping migrants in dangerous conditions in Mexico, the Trump administration ensured many people would not be able to appear at their hearings and their claims would be rejected," Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Nanette Barragán, D-Calif., said in a joint statement on Tuesday, according to the Times.
Thompson is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Barragán is chairwoman of the subcommittee on border security.
"Allowing these people to be eligible for processing is the right thing to do."
Rep. Michael Guest, R-Miss., a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the DHS decision was made in haste and without transparency, the Times reported.
"The department's seemingly impulsive announcement lacked explanation, justification or any other indicia that the decision had been made only after the careful deliberations and consultations that are both appropriate and lawfully required," Guest wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, according to the Times.
Many immigration and human rights advocates welcomed the development, the Times said, though the Biden administration still is being criticized by progressives for denying thousands of other migrants from entering the United States due to a public health rule put in place during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, it was reported Biden was contemplating ending Title 42 -- implemented in March 2020 to protect America from an influx of COVID-19 – a sit regards migrant families by as early as July 31.
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