Biden adding COVID vaccines to ‘Remain in Mexico’ restart: report

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The Biden administration is planning to offer COVID-19 vaccines to migrants that enroll in the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” program, which could go back into effect as soon as next week, according to Axios.

Two government officials told Axios that migrants seeking asylum will be offered COVID-19 vaccines, though they cannot legally be required to receive them. It is unclear at what point in their asylum process they will be offered the immunization.

The Biden administration had sought to rescind the Trump-era policy, known as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), that requires asylum seekers to wait for their hearings in Mexico, but a federal district court ordered the administration to reimplement the rule in October.

The Biden administration previously said it was prepared to reimplement MPP in mid-November, though the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) again sought to block the order at the beginning of this month.

One official with the DHS told Axios that the policy will first be reimplemented in the Texas towns of El Paso and Brownsville as well as San Diego, Calif.

However, Axios noted that the implementation of this policy is contingent upon the Mexican government’s cooperation.

“In compliance with the court order, we are working to reimplement MPP as promptly as possible,” DHS spokesperson Marsha Espinosa told the news outlet.

“We cannot do so until we have the independent agreement from the Government of Mexico to accept those we seek to enroll in MPP,” Espinosa added. “We will communicate to the court, and to the public, the timing of reimplementation when we are prepared to do so.”

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