Supreme Court Orders Reinstatement of ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy in Blow to Biden Admin

The Supreme Court Building in Washington D.C., August 5, 2021 (Brent Buterbaugh/National Review)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to block a lower-court ruling that will require the Biden administration to reinstate the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers at the U.S. border.

The court’s three liberal justices dissented, saying they would have granted the administration’s request to halt the lower court’s order.

The administration had sought to end the policy, formally known as Migrant Protection Protocols, which forces migrants to await their U.S. immigration court dates in Mexico. The program was first suspended when Biden took office and was later formally terminated.

However, Texas and Missouri sued to challenge the Biden administration’s decision to end the program.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled earlier this month that the administration had violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it moved to end the program.

The lower court ruled that the administration must make a “good faith effort” to reimplement the program.

Last week, the Biden administration argued in a petition it filed with the Supreme Court that reinstating the program would result in “irreparable harm.”

“MPP has been rescinded for 2.5 months, suspended for 8 months, and largely dormant for nearly 16 months,” the administration said. “The district court’s mandate to abruptly re-impose and maintain that program under judicial supervision would prejudice the United States’ relations with vital regional partners, severely disrupt its operations at the southern border, and threaten to create a diplomatic and humanitarian crisis.”

In an unsigned order on Tuesday, the high court cited its opinion from last year when it denied the Trump administration’s attempts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The court said in that case, the decision to end DACA was “arbitrary and capricious,” in violation of federal law.

On Tuesday, the court wrote that the Biden administration has “failed to show a likelihood of success on the claim that the memorandum rescinding the Migrant Protection Protocols was not arbitrary and capricious.”

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