U.S. President Joe Biden will start turning asylum seekers back to Mexico as soon as next week under a reinstated Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” program, Axios reported on Wednesday.
However, the Biden administration will offer them the option of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, the news outlet reported.
Mexico’s foreign ministry and its national migration institute did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Late last month, a Department of Homeland Security memo showed the administration had made a renewed attempt to end the immigration program initiated under then-President Donald Trump, which forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. court hearings.
The Biden administration first ended the program, informally known as “Remain in Mexico” but formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, earlier this year. But a federal judge ordered the government to restart it, saying the administration had failed to follow proper regulatory procedure.
The U.S. Supreme Court in August rejected an administration appeal of the lower court’s ruling.
Officials said late in October that the administration was going to continue to take steps to restart the program by mid-November, to comply with the judge’s ruling.