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Supreme Court rules 6-3 Biden must reinstate Trump-era “remain in Mexico” immigration policy

The Supreme Court has ruled 6-3 that the Biden Administration must re-instate the “remain in Mexico” immigration policy which began under Republican Donald Trump.

The court said that the Biden Administration failed to show that its June memorandum repealing the policy wasn’t “arbitrary and capricious.” The court’s three liberal justices dissented.

The court’s ruling ends the Biden administration’s attempt to avoid a federal court ruling issued last Friday which required the president to continue enforcing Trump’s policy. On that same day, the Biden administration filed an emergency request with the Supreme Court. The filing noted the court’s history of staying “broad lower-court injunctions against Executive Branch policies addressing matters of immigration.”

The “remain in Mexico” policy, instated by Trump on January 25, 2019, requires immigrants and asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while awaiting their immigration court proceedings in the United States. It was implemented as part of Trump’s Migration Protection Protocols (MPP) program and followed through with his administration’s aim of reducing the number of immigrants within the United States.

Under Biden, the Department of Homeland Security sought to repeal the policy with a June 1 memorandum. The memo, written by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, said the policy “does not adequately or sustainably enhance border management in such a way as to justify the program’s extensive operational burdens and other shortfalls.”

However, the states of Texas and Missouri quickly filed a lawsuit for an injunction against the memo’s attempted repeal.

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday 6-3 that the Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ immigration policy must be reinstated. This photo shows a man being processed by a US Border Patrol agent in Sunland Park, New Mexico on July 22.
Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty

Last Friday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas placed an injunction against the Biden Administration’s repeal. The injunction required anyone acting under the administration’s command to continue complying with the Trump-era policy.

The federal court’s ruling also required the Biden administration to file a monthly report with the court. The report must state the total number of encounters with undocumented immigrants at the southern U.S. border and the number of immigrants expelled under the “remain in Mexico” policy. The report must also state the total capacity and usage rate of immigrant detention facilities in the U.S. as well as the total monthly number of asylum-seeking applicants seeking to circumvent the policy, court documents said.

Additionally, the court’s ruling also required the Biden administration to file a monthly report with the court. The report must state the total number of encounters with undocumented immigrants at the southern U.S. border and the number of immigrants expelled under the “remain in Mexico” policy. The report must also state the total capacity and usage rate of immigrant detention facilities in the U.S. as well as the total monthly number of asylum-seeking applicants seeking to circumvent the policy, court documents said.

Despite the court’s ruling, the “remain in Mexico” policy doesn’t affect every undocumented immigrant who arrives at the southern border, according to Justice for Immigrants, a U.S. Catholic immigration reform organization.

Unaccompanied children aren’t subject to it nor are violent offenders and other known criminals who should be in jail with the U.S. or Mexico. The policy also doesn’t apply to migrants with known mental or medical health issues or those who are determined by the Department of Homeland Security as likely to face persecution or torture if left within Mexico.

However, migrants awaiting their trials in Mexican border towns live in “inhumane” conditions and are “preyed upon by criminal organizations,” a spokesman for Doctors Without Borders told Border Report on March 9.

Waiting migrants are often cut off from all hometown family, legal or social supports. They don’t always have viable options for stable shelter, food, money, medical care or other social support either. Drug cartel operatives can recruit or kidnap migrants, holding them for ransom and murdering them if their families don’t comply with their financial or criminal demands.

Newsweek contacted the White House for comment.

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