SAN DIEGO — Starting Monday, asylum seekers will once again have to “remain in Mexico” for a chance to enter the United States.
The change comes as the Biden administration tried to end the Trump-era policy, but a lawsuit by Texas and Missouri forced officials to bring it back.
Migrants are expected to be returned in one border city, which hasn’t been identified. It will eventually be done in seven locations, including San Diego and Calexico in California.
The policy’s reinstatement is promising major additions and changes that Mexico demanded. All migrants will be vaccinated, the U.S. will try to complete cases within 180 days and the Justice Department is assigning 22 immigrations judges to work on the cases. They can also meet with attorneys before each hearing.
According to immigration and border experts, anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 people are expected to go back to Mexico in the coming months now that the policy has been reinstated.
“Vulnerable” people will be exempt, including unaccompanied children, pregnant women, physically or mentally ill people, older people, indigenous people, and members of the LGBTQ community. Some say in the past, they’ve been easy targets to gang and violence when waiting outside of the U.S.