The Supreme Court denied a Department of Justice petition for an emergency stay, forcing the Biden administration to reinstate the Trump administration’s “Migrant Protection Protocols,” better known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which President Joe Biden tried to end through an executive order during his first several days in office.
“The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the Biden administration likely violated federal law in trying to end a Trump-era program that forces people to wait in Mexico while seeking asylum in the U.S.,” The Associated Press reported in a 6-3 decision ruling against the Biden administration.
“A federal judge in Texas had previously ordered that the program be reinstated last week. Both he and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused the administration’s request to put the ruling on hold,” the outlet noted. “Justice Samuel Alito ordered a brief delay to allow the full court time to consider the administration’s appeal to keep the ruling on hold while the case continues to make its way through the courts.”
The “Remain in Mexico” policy forced migrants seeking asylum in the United States to wait south of the border until their case could be heard by an immigration court. The Biden administration has, instead, reversed to a more lenient policy, allowing migrants seeking asylum to stay in the United States once given a court date, creating the risk that migrants may never return to immigration court or a processing facility.
Under the Obama administration, a similar policy was known, colloquially, as “catch-and-release.”
The end of “Remain in Mexico” is often cited as one of the primary reasons for the massive uptick in illegal immigrant encounters along the southern border. Without the threat of staying south of the U.S.-Mexico border until an asylum claim can be processed, many migrants who may have held off under the Trump administration are presenting themselves at the border under Biden. As a result, United States Customs and Border Protection encountered more than a million illegal immigrants at the southern border in the first half of 2021.
In July, the number of migrants set a record for the single worst month for border patrol encounters since the Department of Homeland Security began keeping track in 2001.
The court’s 6-person majority did not issue any specific rationale for upholding the lower court’s ruling, but it did specifically cite its own opinion from last year, “rejecting the Trump administration’s effort to end another immigration program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” through an executive order, and that the Trump administration’s measure was “arbitrary and capricious.”
The Biden administration, the court said, “failed to show a likelihood of success on the claim that the memorandum rescinding the Migrant Protection Protocols was not arbitrary and capricious,” according to AP.
“Back in April, along with the Texas Attorney General’s Office, I filed suit against the Biden Administration over their suspension of the Migrant Protection Protocols, or the ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy, a successful President Trump-era policy that helped fight the crisis at the border,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt told the Daily Wire in a statement. “After we won at the federal court and the Circuit Court of Appeals, we have again prevailed over Biden’s Department of Justice at the Supreme Court tonight – the Migrant Protection Protocols must be reinstated. This is a huge win for border security and the rule of law, and highlights our efforts to continually fight back on federal government overreach.”
The Fifth Circuit court of appeals has fast-tracked the “Remain in Mexico”