The U.S. Supreme Court has shot down the Biden administration’s attempt to reverse President Trump’s successful “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy.
On a 6-3 ruling, the court said the policy requiring asylum seekers at the southern border to stay in Mexico while they await hearings to determine their eligibility must be reinstated.
Fox News reported the court’s trio of liberal justices – Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – voted to side with the liberal Democrat president.
Biden’s Department of Homeland Security said it would continue to fight the ruling through an extended appeal process.
The move to obliterate the Migrant Protection Protocols came as part of President Biden’s efforts to reverse everything that President Trump had accomplished to work to control illegal immigration at the southern border. Biden’s moves also included cancellation of any more work on the highly effective border wall project Trump had launched. The result is that during just one month this summer, more than 200,000 illegal aliens breached the border in violation of U.S. law.
Last week, a federal judge in Texas had ordered that the “Remain in Mexico” policy be restored, and both he and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned back Biden’s demands that they suspend the order.
The practice was instituted in 2019 and involved returning illegal immigrants to Mexico rather than releasing them into the U.S. during the process of consideration for their asylum proceedings.
The Biden administration immediately suspended the project when he took office, and formally announced its demise in June.
But Missouri and Texas filed a lawsuit, charging the policy change was illegal in the way it was done and that it harmed both border and interior states by promoting illegal immigration, which since Biden took office has turned into a disaster of massive proportions on the southern border.
Eric Schmitt, Missouri’s attorney general, told Fox News several weeks ago that, “It is clear that the Biden administration didn’t consider anything relevant to how it was working or notice and comment, and obviously we have a crisis at the border now. Anyone who is paying attention knows we have a 21-year high in border crossings, drug traffickers, and human traffickers have been emboldened, and that affects not just Texas but states like Missouri.”
The original ruling said Biden “likely violated federal law” in his reversal of the previously adopted policy.
The order means the case now will continue through the courts and be reviewed by an appeals court, and it could ultimately return to the Supreme Court.
The original decision was from U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk and permanently banned the federal government from implementing President Biden’s memo that dropped Trump’s program.
He explained that the United States properly can refuse “to admit asylum applicants at ports of entry … before they ever enter the United States.”
It was because Biden failed to abide by the Constitution and the rules and regulations adopted by Congress in making the change, specifically the Administrative Procedures Act.
“Defendants are ordered by enforce and implement MPP in good faith until such a time as it has been lawfully rescinded in compliance with the APA and until such a time as the federal government has sufficient detention capacity to detain all aliens subject to mandatory detention under Section 1255 without releasing any aliens because of a lack of detention resources,” the judge said.
He is requiring the government to file with the court on the 15th of each month going forward a report with “the total monthly number of encounters at the southwest border” as well as “the total monthly number of aliens expelled” and “detention capacity” and the number of “applicants” for admission.
The judge said the injunction is nationwide.
Constitutional expert Jonathan Turley explained the ruling on the Migrant Protection Protocols, also called the “Remain in Mexico” policy, “is only the latest of a string of losses by the Biden administration in its first six months in court.”
Trump’s process, adopted correctly, has asylum seekers from Mexico “stay in Mexico while their claims were processed in U.S. courts. The policy was meant to end a practice of claiming asylum in order to draw out appeals for years or not appearing for required hearings. It was intended to deter many who just wanted to gain entrance in the United States. It also reduced the burden for beds and facilities along the border.”
The judge said the Biden administration’s attempt, in this situation, to reverse what President Trump had accomplished, failed, by violating the APA.
Turley noted, “That should sound familiar. Within two weeks of taking office, Biden racked up one of his first losses under the APA when he reversed Trump’s deportation order. While many are denouncing that and the most recent decision, it was precisely the attack used by Trump critics during the prior administration. Even though President Barack Obama did not satisfy APA conditions in imposing original rules, the Supreme Court enforced such procedures to reverse prior orders. During that litigation over the Trump executive orders, I repeatedly noted that the Democratic challengers in court were making arguments that would likely used against the next Democratic president in seeking to quickly undo Trump’s orders.”