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The Trump administration has postponed hearings related to the “Stay in Mexico” policy in response to the coronavirus crisis – although it confirmed that the program itself has not stopped.
The Department of Justice Executive Office (DOJ) for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced changes to policy-related procedures, formally known as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), earlier this week as part of the government’s broader response to the spread of the virus.
“Due to the circumstances resulting from COVID-19, all major schedules and merit hearings of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) currently scheduled until April 22 will be postponed,” said the DOJ. Executive Immigration Review Office said on his website. “Neither the MPP program nor any hearing will be canceled.”
The “Stay in Mexico” policy has been the centerpiece of the administration’s efforts to address the crisis on the southern border. The idea is to send migrants back to Mexico to await their immigration hearings rather than detaining them in the United States or releasing them inside.
Officials say it has been essential to reduce the number of people at the border, reduce the time it takes to process cases and reduce the “pull factor” that brings migrants north. More specifically, it helps end the “capture and release” by which migrants were detained and then released inside the United States. violence.
It was the subject of legal challenges and was quashed by the Court of Appeal of the ninth circuit. But the Supreme Court granted a stay allowing the police to continue while the litigation surrounding it continues.
The EOIR stated that any migrant with a hearing date until April 22 should report to a port of entry to receive a new hearing notice.
“[Department of Homeland Security] and the EOIR are deeply committed to ensuring that individuals “spend their day in court” while ensuring the health and safety of foreigners, our front-line officers, professionals in the immigration courts and our citizens. ” , the office said in a statement.