• August 25, 2021

Immigration policy and stay in Mexico: Supreme Court refuses to block reinstatement

The Supreme Court Building in Washington DC, August 5, 2021 (Brent Buterbaugh / National Review)

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court refused to block a lower court ruling that will require the Biden administration to reinstate the Trump-era policy of “Remain in Mexico” for asylum seekers at the US border.

The three liberal court judges disagreed, saying they would have granted the administration’s request to stop the lower court order.

The administration had tried to end the policy, formally known as Migrant Protection Protocols, that forces migrants to wait for their dates in US immigration court in Mexico. The program was first discontinued when Biden took office and was later formally terminated.

However, Texas and Missouri filed suit to challenge the Biden administration’s decision to end the program.

Federal District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled earlier this month that the administration had violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it decided to end the program.

The lower court ruled that the administration must make a “good faith effort” to re-implement the program.

Last week, the Biden administration argued in a petition it filed with the Supreme Court that reinstating the program would result in “irreparable harm.”

“The MPP has been rescinded for 2.5 months, suspended for 8 months and largely inactive for nearly 16 months,” the administration said. “The district court’s mandate to abruptly reimpose and keep that program under judicial supervision would undermine America’s relations with vital regional partners, severely disrupt its operations on the southern border, and threaten to create a diplomatic and humanitarian crisis.”

In an unsigned order Tuesday, the superior court cited its opinion from last year when it denied the Trump administration’s attempts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The court said that in that case, the decision to end DACA was “arbitrary and capricious,” in violation of federal law.

On Tuesday, the court wrote that the Biden administration “did not demonstrate a likelihood of success in asserting that the memorandum terminating the Migrant Protection Protocols was not arbitrary or capricious.”

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