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Supreme Court rejects Biden admin’s attempt to stop ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy

Immigration, Border, Illegal Immigration
Berta Mejia, a migrant from Honduras, watches her husband and stepson and other Central American migrants surrender to the border patrol after they crossed the border fence from Tijuana in Mexico to San Diego County in the U.S., as seen from Tijuana, Baja California State, Mexico, on December 27, 2018. |

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a request by the Biden administration to prevent the reimplementation of the “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy.

In an order released Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito denied President Joe Biden's request to stop a lower court decision ordering the restart of the Remain in Mexico policy, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols.

“The applicants have failed to show a likelihood of success on the claim that the memorandum rescinding the Migrant Protection Protocols was not arbitrary and capricious,” stated the order.

“Our order denying the Government’s request for a stay of the District Court injunction should not be read as affecting the construction of that injunction by the Court of Appeals.”

The order noted that Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor would have granted the application requesting a stay.

As a result of the Supreme Court's refusal to intervene, the Biden administration is expected to continue enforcing the Remain in Mexico policy for illegal immigrants as litigation continues.

In January 2019, the Department of Homeland Security implemented the Remain in Mexico policy, which mandated that immigrants seeking to live in the U.S. would remain in Mexico while their immigration proceedings and asylum claims were vetted, with Mexico providing humanitarian needs.  

In a statement released at the time, DHS said the policy “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.”

After Biden became president, he attempted to end the policy, only to be sued by Texas and Missouri, with U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruling in favor of the states earlier this month.

In his ruling, Kacsmaryk concluded that the Biden administration had “failed to consider several critical factors” when deciding to eliminate the Remain in Mexico policy.

A few days after the district court ruling, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a per curiam ruling and denied a motion to put the lower court ruling on hold.

“Even if the Government were correct that long-term compliance with the district court’s injunction would cause irreparable harm, it presents no reason to think that it cannot comply with the district court’s requirement of good faith while the appeal proceeds,” read the Circuit Court panel decision.

“Therefore, the Government has failed to demonstrate that it will be irreparably injured absent a stay pending appeal.”

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