The Supreme Court ruled late Tuesday against the Biden administration, upholding a lower court's ruling to order the resumption of the "Remain in Mexico" policy implemented by the Trump administration,which requires people seeking asylum to wait in Mexico until their case is heard.
In a 6-3 vote, with the three liberal justices (Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer) dissenting, the court rejected the administration's plea to block the reinstatement of the program, which requires immigrants seeking asylum at the southern border to wait in Mexico while their applications are pending.
The order stated the Biden administration acted in an "arbitrary and capricious" manner when the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program (the official name of the 'Remain In Mexico' program) was rescinded.
The Biden administration formally repealed the policy in June despite the crisis at the border (but in theory the policy ended the moment Biden entered The White House), and today's Supreme Court decision rejected the administration’s bid to block U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s ruling that revived the enforcement of the policy.
In a memorandum (pdf) to top immigration officials in June, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said a review determined the policy “does not adequately or sustainably enhance border management in such a way as to justify the program’s extensive operational burdens and other shortfalls.”
The Justice Department had asked the court last week to suspend the lower court's order, saying the MPP "has been formally suspended for seven months and largely dormant for nearly nine months before that."
As we detailed earlier in August, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, found The Department of Homeland Security “failed to consider several critical factors” before axing the Trump era “Remain in Mexico” policy.
That included ignoring how the program was beginning to lead to some immigrants with asylum claims that lacked merit voluntarily returning home, he wrote in a 53-page ruling.
Kacsmaryk said the policy must be reinstated until it was “lawfully rescinded” and the administration had the capacity to hold all migrants.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, another Republican, described the ruling as a “huge win for border security and the rule of law.”
As a reminder, The Epoch Times' Zachary Stieber notes that the Trump administration established MPP in 2019 to deal with a surge in illegal immigration. Former President Donald Trump successfully partnered with Mexico to start the program, which saw the U.S. send some asylum seekers back to Mexico until their claims were heard.
Kirstjen Nielsen, who served as Homeland Security secretary during the Trump administration, said when the program was first implemented that it was in response to “a security and humanitarian crisis on the Southern border.”
“MPP will help restore a safe and orderly immigration process, decrease the number of those taking advantage of the immigration system, and the ability of smugglers and traffickers to prey on vulnerable populations, and reduce threats to life, national security, and public safety, while ensuring that vulnerable populations receive the protections they need,” she said in a statement at the time.
Biden and top officials this year have reversed or altered a number of key Trump-era immigration policies. The United States has seen a leap in illegal border crossings, culminating in a new 21-year-high in July.