Biden begins dismantling Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' asylum policy

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President Joe Biden called the Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping Wednesday, on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, according to the White House.

Biden said that these asylum seekers will be allowed into the USA pending the completion of their immigration court hearings.

Homeland Security (DHS) officials said in early February 19 that USA immigration officials would set up the first phase of a program to begin processing cases of persons placed in "Mexican residents", also known as the "Immigration Protection Code (MLA) program".

At least 70,000 people were returned to Mexico under the agreement from January 2019, when the program began to be implemented, through December 2020, according to the NGO American Immigration Council.

US Secretary of the Interior Alejandro Mayoras, the first Hispanic to hold this position, stressed that Washington is determined to "build a safe, orderly and humane immigration system".

It said there are approximately 25,000 active cases still. "This latest action is another step in our commitment to reform immigration policies that do not align with our nation's values".

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"Eligible individuals will only be allowed to enter through designated ports of entry at designated times", the DHS noted. "Due to the current pandemic, restrictions at the border remain in place and will be enforced", Mayorkas added, noting that "changes will take time".

It saw tens of thousands of non-Mexican asylum seekers - mostly from Central America - sent back over the border pending the outcome of their asylum applications, creating a humanitarian crisis in the area, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the day of Biden's inauguration, the Department of Homeland Security announced the suspension of new applications for the "Stay in Mexico" program and asked all those who submitted applications to stay in their places while awaiting notification of developments related to it.

Earlier, Biden anticipated the U.S. rivalry with China will take the form of "extreme competition" rather than conflict between the two world powers.

The programme also required them to enter through the southern border and wait in Mexico while their cases were being heard by U.S. immigration courts.

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