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The Trump administration has postponed hearings related to the “Remain in Mexico” policy in response to the coronavirus crisis — although it confirmed that the program itself is not being stopped.
The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced the change to procedures related to the policy, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), earlier this week as part of the broader response by the government to the spread of the virus.
“Due to circumstances resulting from COVID-19, all Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) master calendar and merit hearings presently scheduled through April 22 will be rescheduled,” the DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review said on its website. “Neither the MPP program nor any hearings will be canceled.”
The “Remain in Mexico” policy has formed the centerpiece of the administration’s efforts to combat the crisis at the southern border. It involves sending migrants back to Mexico to await their immigration hearings rather than holding them in the U.S. or releasing them into the interior.
Officials say it has been