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Biden To Allow 25,000 Asylum Seekers Into U.S., Undoing Trump’s Hardline Immigration Policy

Many migrants affected by that Trump policy have struggled to find permanent shelter or safety in Mexico while waiting months, or more than a year, for their days in court.

A Salvadorian girl sits near a Biden-Harris campaign poster inside a camp for asylum seekers on February 07, 2021 in Matamoros, Mexico. Many of the some 600 people in the camp, most from Central America, have been living there for up to a year, waiting for an immigration court hearing across the bridge in Brownsville, Texas. The camp originally sprang up due to former President Trump's "Remain in Mexico" policy, where asylum seekers had to wait in Mexico during the legal process. The courts were then suspended due to the pandemic. | Getty Images
A Salvadorian girl sits near a Biden-Harris campaign poster inside a camp for asylum seekers on February 07, 2021 in Matamoros, Mexico. Many of the some 600 people in the camp, most from Central America, have been living there for up to a year, waiting for an immigration court hearing across the bridge in Brownsville, Texas. The camp originally sprang up due to former President Trump's "Remain in Mexico" policy, where asylum seekers had to wait in Mexico during the legal process. The courts were then suspended due to the pandemic. | Getty Images

President Joe Biden's administration will start allowing migrants to enter the U.S. while their asylum claims are being processed on February 19, the administration announced. The asylum seekers were previously forced to remain in Mexico under the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols.

The Biden administration says it will start slow, processing approximately 300 individuals daily, but an estimated 25,000 people could be affected by this policy change. Many migrants affected by that Trump policy have struggled to find permanent shelter or safety in Mexico while waiting months, or more than a year, for their days in court.

In a statement, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that “the U.S. government is committed to rebuilding a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system,” but the agency added that this news “should not be interpreted as an opening for people to migrate irregularly to the United States.”

The Trump administration began its so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy in 2019, and Biden promised during his presidential campaign to reverse it. Since taking office in late January, Biden has quickly reversed the Trump administration’s agenda on issues including immigration, the climate crisis, and reproductive rights.

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