Two young men seeking asylum rest on cots in a San Diego shelter in 2019. Photo by Chris Stone

The Biden administration will begin processing cases of certain eligible asylum seekers starting on Friday, the White House said in a statement on Tuesday.

The announcement marks the beginning of the new administration’s effort to end the controversial Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols program.

“Individuals should not take any action at this time and should remain where they are to await further instructions. We will soon announce a virtual registration process that will be accessible from any location,” the statement said.

The Trump administration had all but locked down the U.S. southern border and forced some asylum applicants to wait for months in Mexico. It also had prodded Mexican and Central American governments, largely through threats, to confront migrants.

Trump left office after setting a cap of admitting just 15,000 refugees annually — the lowest since 1980.

Biden pledged to increase annual refugee admissions cap to 125,000.

Reuters contributed to this article.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.