A decision demanding that the Joe Biden administration reinstate a Trump-era immigration policy has been put on hold until 11:59 p.m. 24 August by the US Supreme Court, reported CNN.
Federal district judge Matthew Kacsmaryk – an appointee of then-president Donald Trump – on Friday ruled in favor of Texas and Missouri against the Biden administration in their lawsuit over the termination of the Migrant Protection Protocols (commonly referred to as the “Remain in Mexico” policy).
We just won our second immigration lawsuit against the Biden Admin! They unlawfully tried to shut down the legal and effective Remain-in-Mexico programme, but #Texas and Missouri wouldn’t have it.
Together we sued, and just handed Biden yet another major loss! pic.twitter.com/Tcxte8gF6H
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) August 14, 2021
The policy was to be reinstated on August 20, as it was determined that the Biden administration had violated the Administrative Procedure Act and a part of the immigration laws called Section 1225 when it cancelled Remain in Mexico in June this year.
However, the Justice Department appealed and the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied their request to stay the order. The Biden administration then filed a request with the Supreme Court, arguing that the district court judge’s order should be put on hold until the appeal has been heard in the 5th Circuit and, potentially, the Supreme Court.
“(A)llowing the district court’s erroneous and extraordinary injunction to take effect before this Court has been able to undertake plenary review would result in irreparable harm to the government that far outweighs any harm to respondents from a stay. MPP has been rescinded for 2.5 months, suspended for 8 months, and largely dormant for nearly 16 months,” the filing by the Biden administration read.
Now the states that are challenging Biden’s reversal of the policy requiring migrants to wait in Mexico while seeking asylum in the US are required to respond to the administration’s request by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Mexico would have to play its part if the programme were to be revived, as it was on the receiving end of the migrants when it was in place.
In acknowledgement of that, the Fifth Circuit Court said:
“The injunction only requires good faith on the part of the United States — if the Government’s good-faith efforts to implement MPP are thwarted by Mexico, it nonetheless will be in compliance with the district court’s order, so long as it also adheres to the rest of the statutory requirements.”
‘Remain in Mexico’
The Remain in Mexico programme, dating to late 2018, was the centrepiece of the Trump administration’s efforts to deter migration to the US southern border. Donald Trump had touted it as ending “catch-and-release”, which saw migrants released into the US. Critics, however, slammed the policy as cruel and endangering migrants.
The onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the practice to be scaled back. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention granted border officials emergency powers to expel unauthorised migrants without allowing them to file for asylum.
REUTERS / Jose Luis Gonzalez
Migrants from Central America are detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, in New Mexico
The public health order, known as Title 42, was taken up by the administration of Joe Biden after the Democrat took the Oath of Office in the wake of his triumph over Trump in the November 2020 presidential elections.
However, Biden suspended the Remain in Mexico programme on the day of his inauguration. Some 13,000 asylum-seekers previously subjected to the Remain in Mexico policy have been allowed into the US to continue their court proceedings since then, according to government data.
In June, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas signed the formal termination of the MPP rule, saying “any benefits the programme may have offered are now far outweighed by the challenges, risks, and costs that it presents”.
In April, Texas and Missouri sued the Biden administration, arguing that reversing the policy encouraged migrants and therefore fuelled the crisis at the US-Mexico border, inflicting costs on the states.
Illegal crossings on the US southern border have hit a 20-year high under Joe Biden. In July, 210,000 migrant encounters were registered on the border, according to government data, pushing the total for the previous twelve months to over 1.4 million.