JOE Biden will allow at least 10,000 asylum seekers whose cases were dismissed or denied under the Trump administration to return to the US for a second chance.
Homeland Security announced that from Wednesday, asylum seekers who were forced to remain in Mexico while they awaited court hearings can apply for another attempt at getting humanitarian protection in the US.
The policy, commonly known as “Remain in Mexico," saw tens of thousands of asylum-seekers forced to stay outside the US as they waited for a court date.
Their cases were then either dismissed or denied for failing to appear in court.
Yet they will now be allowed to enter the US for another attempt
It is unclear how many migrants the new Biden policy could benefit.
Michele Klein Solomon, the International Organization for Migration’s director for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean, said the figure will be at least 10,000, according to the Associated Press.
Yet Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse claimed the number could be significantly higher.
It said 34,528 migrants would receive a second chance – 27,842 whose cases were denied for failing to appear in court and 6,686 whose applications were dismissed.
The sudden change has raised concern for the safety of those migrants who have left the border region.
Many are believed to have left the area believing their application for asylum in the US to be complete.
It has raised the possibility that tens of thousands could make the dangerous journey to return.
An official told the Associated Press that the administration is aware of that possibility and is considering bringing migrants back to the border.
It has taken the same approach to reunite families separated for years after Trump’s “zero tolerance” on illegal border crossings.
The official added that the new policy is aimed at giving a second chance to the tens of thousands who failed to appear in court for their case.
Many of the asylum-seekers who missed their date claim they were kidnapped in Mexico while others say they were too sick or afraid to travel to a border crossing for an appointment that could be as early as 4.30am.
More than 1,500 attacks against people subject to the policy have been reported by Advocacy group Human Rights First.
The difficulties in finding an attorney in Mexico also meant that few had legal representation.
The Biden administration has reportedly not made a decision on whether it will allow people who showed up for court but had their case denied under the Trump White House to be admitted to the US for another attempt.
This week’s announcement marks another major step in Biden’s plans to turn back Trump policies that Democrats branded as cruel and inhumane.
He ended Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy on his first day in office.
The president also quickly allowed 26,000 asylum-seekers who were being forced to wait out their active case in Mexico to return to the US until their court date.
More than 12,300 of these migrants have reentered the US since February.
Others have registered but not yet entered the country bringing the total number to 17,000.
These applicants could spend years in the US until their case is finally heard with the system backlogged with more than1.3million cases.
Biden’s decision is another blow to Trump defenders who claim the Remain in Mexico policy was effective in discouraging migrants from coming to the US.
Republicans have been angered at Biden rolling back Trump’s strict immigration policies and have called for him to act on the spike of migrants illegally crossing the border in his first months in office.
They have also slammed Vice President Kamala Harris for her failure to visit the region after she was tapped by Biden as his border czar.
Earlier this month, Harris visited Mexico and Guatemala in what the White House called a trip that would target the “root cause” of migration.
The trip was criticized after Harris appeared to laugh off requests for her to go to the US border and failed to give a date by which she will visit.
Dozens of House Republicans are calling for the vice president to be removed from the crucial role accusing her of "inaction".
"Despite being in the midst of a border crisis this country has not seen in two decades, Vice President Harris has not yet shown adequate interest in observing this crisis first-hand," the 56 lawmakers wrote.
"In the 85 days since the Vice President has been tasked with solving this crisis, she has yet to visit the border and meet with Border Patrol agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials and local law enforcement officials."
Data has shown tens of thousands made the journey in April and May compared to less than 100 who crossed in the last month of Donald Trump's presidency.
Trump blasted Biden on the border last week as he claimed "death and criminals" are "pouring into our country."
The former president said that the US went from having "border security that was the envy of the world" to a "lawless border" that is pitied around the world.
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