Biden administration to allow 25,000 asylum-seekers into US

Asylum Waiting in Mexico
Posted at 6:00 AM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 02:19:25-05

The Biden administration is unveiling plans for an estimated 25,000 asylum-seekers waiting in Mexico for their next immigration court hearings to be allowed into the United States while their cases proceed.

The admissions process will start slowly at three border crossings on Feb. 19 -- one port of entry in California and two in Texas.

The Los Angeles Times reported all migrants will first be given a medical screening in Mexico, including a COVID-19 test administered by the United Nations migration agency, before entry into the U.S.

The move is a major step toward dismantling one of former President Donald Trump's most consequential policies to deter asylum-seekers from coming to the U.S.

About 70,000 asylum-seekers were enrolled in the "Remain in Mexico" program since it was introduced in January 2019.

The policy required asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases in the U.S. moved forward, effectively stranding people along the border.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said this is an "initial phase" of restarting the asylum process, but that "changes (to immigration policy) will take time."