The Biden administration announced Friday that it will be allowing tens of thousands of asylum-seekers into the United States while they wait for their next immigration court hearings.
According to reports, an estimated 25,000 asylum-seekers in Mexico with active cases will be allowed in the U.S. on Feb. 19.
The Department of Homeland Security, partnering with international organizations in Mexico, will choose the most vulnerable candidates, test them for COVID-19, and bring them into the U.S.
Homeland Security said they will begin processing up to 300 people per day, and will increase the numbers overtime.
President Joe Biden announced once he took office that asylum-seekers would no longer be subject to the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which allowed U.S. border officers to return non-Mexican asylum seekers to Mexico as their claims were tried in U.S. immigration courts.
“As President Biden has made clear, the U.S. government is committed to rebuilding a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “This latest action is another step in our commitment to reform immigration policies that do not align with our nation’s values.”
According to DHS, more people are crossing the border illegally since Biden took office.
Raul Ortiz, deputy chief of the Border Patrol, told the Associated Press Tuesday that more than 3,000 people had been stopped crossing the border illegally in each of the previous 10 days, compared to a daily average of 2,426 in January.