The policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, demands migrants seeking asylum to wait outside the United States for their immigration court hearings. The application will restart at one border location on Monday and will ultimately involve seven entry points, including San Diego and the Texas cities of Laredo, El Paso, and Brownsville.
The Washington Post was the first to announce the deal to restart the policy.
Biden had nixed the program when he took office this year, calling it inhumane because of the violence migrants faced waiting in Mexico for their court hearings. But Texas and Missouri officials sued the Administration in April over the program's halt, claiming that ending it put a burden on states because migrants use state services such as issuing drivers’ licenses and providing hospital care. A federal judge in Texas ordered its resume pending the outcome of the lawsuit in August.
The Administration opposed the order but lost in federal appeals court and the Supreme Court before complying with the court's ruling. The Administration has said it still plans to end the program eventually.
The Biden Administration had spent the past few weeks discussing the terms for restarting the program with the Mexican government. The talks have occurred out of public view. Still, on Friday, the Mexican government released a statement voicing concerns about the program and called for the U.S. to commit to expediting cases to limit asylum seekers' time in Mexico and provide them with medical care, Covid vaccines, and access to attorneys.
In a statement, the Biden Administration said that humanitarian improvements had been made to the system. The U.S. will gather all cases within six months of an individual's first return to Mexico, widen access to attorneys, and exclude "particularly vulnerable individuals" — such as the elder program. The U.S. will also offer Covid vaccines, "safe and secure services, the Administration said.
Nevertheless, despite humanitarian improvements, immigration supporters have warned that despite humanitarian improvements, restarting the program will still put asylum seekers at risk. The nonprofit Human Rights First recorded more than 1,500 cases of violence, including murder, rape, torture, and kidnapping, against migrants forced to return to Mexico under the policy as of February.
In a call with reporters, senior administration officials said that the policy would be reinstated in a way that addresses "acute humanitarian concerns" that occurred under the Trump administration.