Biden will start turning asylum seekers back to Mexico as soon as next week under a reinstated Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” program — but will offer them the option to receive the COVID vaccine, Axios has learned.
Under court orders, Biden will officially undo a key immigration promise, which will force asylum-seekers to wait months in Mexico ahead of their immigration court hearings in the U.S. — as long as Mexico accepts them.
One difference from the program under President Trump’s administration: All migrant adults enrolled in “Remain in Mexico” will be offered the vaccine, although it can’t be required.
It’s unclear at what point in the process the migrants would be able to get their shots, whether before being turned back, when they return to the U.S. for their court hearing or at some other time.
The policy, formally called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), will first be reinstated in El Paso and Brownsville, Texas, as well as San Diego, California, one DHS official said.