Former Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott slammed the Biden administration for scrapping a key Trump-era order for a more restrictive program that leaves migrants without court dates in an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
The Biden administration ended the Trump-era Remain in Mexico program, which is formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), in August 2022 after fighting in the courts to stop its implementation. Scott, who served under the Trump administration, said it’s hypocritical for the Biden administration to criticize MPP, which forced certain migrants to await adjudication of their immigration cases in Mexico, while it expels certain migrants to Mexico without any court dates.
The new Biden administration expulsion policy was implemented in anticipation of a surge in migrant encounters at the southern border after the end of Title 42, a Trump-era public health expulsion order, on May 11 to begin expelling certain Venezuelan, Cuban, Haitian and Nicaraguan migrants to Mexico. The migrants expelled to Mexico will face potential five-year bans on admission and potential criminal prosecution if they try to enter the U.S. illegally.
Border Patrol recorded more than 2.2 million migrant encounters in fiscal year 2022 and more than 1.2 million so far in fiscal year 2023, according to federal statistics.
“One of the things that frustrates me the most out of this entire discussion is just the hypocrisy and the lack of transparency. So now we have an administration that has just advertised they made an agreement with Mexico, so Mexico will accept Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, Cubans and Haitians that are being [returned via] expedited removal or voluntary return, but basically, you’re removing them from the U.S.,” Scott said.
“This is the same administration that said when the last administration wanted to make people simply wait for a hearing in Mexico, that it was inhumane. It was too unsafe,” Scott said.
In June 2022, the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) argued Remain in Mexico “has endemic flaws, imposes unjustifiable human costs, and pulls resources and personnel away from other priority efforts to secure our border.”
The Mexican government has agreed to accept migrants under the latest program, according to DHS.
“All we did was ask them to wait until their court date and then come back. What the current administration is effectively doing is deporting them into Mexico, which they said was not safe. So just my thing is, let’s have an adult conversation about this and agree that we need to protect America. I’m not saying the program is bad, I’m just saying the hypocrisy is ridiculous,” Scott said.
Neither the White House nor DHS immediately responded to requests for comment.
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