Monday, June 17, 2024

Supreme Court denies Biden administration efforts to end ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court denied the Biden administration’s request to pause the implementation of a Trump-era immigration policy.

The Justice Department asked the court to delay the reinstatement of the policy, known as “Remain in Mexico”, arguing that the policy had been dormant for more than a year and that abruptly reinstating it “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.”

President Joe Biden suspended the policy on his first day in office. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it was permanently terminating the program. However, a lower court had ordered the reinstatement of the policy, which forced the administration to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The policy was meant to discourage asylum-seekers, but critics argue that it denies people the legal right to seek protection in the U.S. and forces them to wait in dangerous Mexican border cities. It requires asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico until their court dates in the U.S. Matamoros, Mexico, where they’re often subjected to robbery, kidnapping and assault.

Attorneys general in Missouri and Texas sued the Biden administration to reinstate the policy, claiming that the high number of asylum-seekers was burdening states without DHS’s being able to detain them. Texas and Missouri also argued that the Biden administration had not gone through proper administrative procedures to end the policy.

The Biden administration appealed to the Supreme Court for an emergency stay of the order, but the court denied the stay because “the applicants have failed to show a likelihood of success” that they would win their claim to rescind the policy.

Omar Jadwat, Director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union stated, “The Biden administration was correct to rescind the Trump return to Mexico policy, the whole point of which was to punish people for seeking asylum by trapping them in miserable and dangerous conditions. The government must take all steps available to fully end this illegal program, including by re-terminating it with a fuller explanation. What it must not do is use this decision as cover for abandoning its commitment to restore a fair asylum system.”