As published by the BuzzFeed News site, citing internal ICE emails, the Trump administration directive ordered agents to review whether a minor classified as “unaccompanied” had changed their conditions. If the officers found a change in their status, a new classification would affect the children’s asylum applications.
The Administration of President Joe Biden on Thursday revoked a policy implemented in the last days of the government of former President Donald Trump that made it difficult for immigrant children to obtain asylum in the United States, according to the BuzzFeed News site.
The Trump administration directive ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to check whether an undocumented minor classified as “unaccompanied” (AUC) at the time of entering the country was still in this status. . That is, it asked the officials to review whether after a certain time the minor was still unaccompanied, or to evaluate all the available information to determine if the child should still be classified as unaccompanied, even if he had turned 18 or if there was a guardian “available” in the US.
If the officers found a change in their “unaccompanied” status, a new classification would affect the asylum applications of the minors, according to the children’s advocates.
However, on Thursday Tae Johnson, acting director of ICE, sent agency staff an email, accessed by BuzzFeed, stating that he was rescinating the policy and that, “effective immediately,” officers would no longer have to perform those tasks in an effort to “prevent the loss of the procedural and legal safeguards created by Congress that were designed to keep unaccompanied immigrant children safe.”
The reversal is part of the policy of the new Democratic Administration to end a series of measures applied by Trump that made it difficult to apply for asylum.
Less than two weeks ago, the Biden government began to receive immigrants in Mexico awaiting the resolution of their asylum processes in the US under the Migrants Protection Protocols (MPP) program, also known as “Stay in Mexico” (Remain in Mexico), one of Trump’s flagship policies.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), some 25,000 people who are still enrolled in the program would be eligible to enter the country.
The announcement that these immigrants will be received raised the hopes of many foreigners who are not under the program, but who seek to enter US soil, including unaccompanied minors.
According to data from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), there is a “growing trend” of unaccompanied children arriving in the country and being taken care of by the authorities. This situation exceeds the capacity of the Department of Health and Human Services, on which the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) depends, in charge of the care of small migrants.