The Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy was reinstated by the Supreme Court on Tuesday after being previously canceled by Biden. The decision marked a rejection of Biden’s attempt to end the policy. It likewise denies entry to asylum seekers while their court hearings are still pending.
The Supreme Court justices ruled against the Biden administration
The “Remain in Mexico” policy, formally known as the “Migrant Protection Protocol” was implemented under the former Trump administration. The policy orders migrants crossing the border to stay in Mexico as they wait for their court hearings in the United States (and before their status and eligibility to stay can be processed).
The brief shadow-docket order contains minimal reasoning but cites the 2020 case in which SCOTUS ruled that the Trump administration acted unlawfully when it tried to quickly cancel Obama's DACA program. Now that ruling is hindering Biden from unwinding Trump immigration policy.
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) August 25, 2021
In the decision of the Supreme Court justices, they wrote that the Biden administration acted capriciously and arbitrarily in rescinding the Migrant Protection Protocols. However, immigration advocates are claiming that the reversal of the policy is dangerous.
These advocates maintain that Remain in Mexico forces vulnerable children and families to settle in camps in Mexico (putting their lives in danger); while at the same time, the U.S. government is making it almost impossible for them to have access to the asylum process.
It can be noted that the policy was implemented back in 2019, during the Trump administration. The policy allows Border Patrol agents to send asylum seekers back to Mexico instead of releasing them into the U.S. According to the former administration, this policy stopped the “catch and release” which emboldened immigrants to cross the border.
However, shortly after Biden was inaugurated as president, the policy was abolished. This prompted government officials near the border to file a suit, claiming that the suspension of the “Remain in Mexico” policy posed a great threat to Americans near the border. It also burdened the local government to provide services to illegal immigrants.
Biden infringed upon federal law in his attempt to abolish the policy
On the other hand, three liberal Supreme Court justices likewise dissented, noting that the Biden administration infringed upon the federal law in their attempt to get rid of the policy. Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas, celebrated the ruling of the Supreme Court. He wrote in a tweet that the policy should be implemented right away.
Last week, a federal judge in Texas likewise ordered the reinstatement of the “Remain in Mexico” policy. Both the federal judge and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to grant the request of the Biden administration to put the reinstatement on hold.
Outstanding news! President Biden's catch and release practice has led to a 20 year high in illegal immigration. Reinstating the successful Remain in Mexico policy allows for a fair and thorough vetting process of asylum seekers who cross our southern border. https://t.co/ISU1Tpjl2c
— Rep. John Rutherford (@RepRutherfordFL) August 25, 2021
Meanwhile, the Biden administration voiced their desire to appeal the decision of the Supreme Court. The Department of Homeland Security likewise noted that they will be pursuing the appeal.
In a written statement, the DHS stated that they disagree with the decision previously made by the Texas District Court. Now, they regret that the high court refused to cancel the reinstatement order. The department, however, pledged to comply with the order of the Supreme Court while their appeal is still pending.