Migrants in “remain in Mexico” program will soon be allowed to enter the United States, federal agency says

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A Honduran asylum seeker holds his daughters’ hand at an immigration checkpoint in Nuevo Laredo. The pair were promptly returned to Mexico to await a court hearing under the Migrant Protection Protocols. Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

EL PASO – Tens of thousands of asylum seekers who have been forced to wait in Mexico under a Trump-era immigration policy will soon be able to enter the United States to pursue their cases, the Biden administration announced Friday.

Launched by the Trump administration, the Migrant Protection Protocols forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico border towns for their hearings in American courtrooms. The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that about 25,000 migrants in the program have active cases.

More than 70,000 migrants have been placed into the program since it was announced in late 2018, including more than 20,000 in the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez area. Officials in Mexico have said that many migrants have since gone back home or decided to cross illegally instead of waiting.