Supreme Court Orders Reinstatement of ‘Remain in Mexico’ Immigration Policy

The [“Remain in Mexico”] program’s resurgence, initiated by Donald Trump, constitutes a failure for President Joe Biden’s administration.

The U.S. Supreme Court declared Tuesday, Aug. 24, that an immigration policy requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for the date of their appointment must be reinstated, thus dealing a hard blow to Biden’s administration.

As part of the “Remain in Mexico” policy of former President Trump, tens of thousands of non-Mexican asylum seekers (most with Central American origins) were turned away at the border while waiting for a decision on their applications. Biden’s administration quickly began to dismantle this controversial policy, officially called Migrant Protection Protocols. This initiative gained ground in the American judiciary system, prompting the Biden administration to ask the Supreme Court to suspend the program’s reinstatement.

In a brief, unsigned order, the Supreme Court declared Tuesday, Aug. 24, that “the application for a stay…is denied.” According to the document, the court’s three progressive judges — Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — declared that they would have granted the suspension.

The case can now be heard at a lower level, before a Court of Appeals. Biden’s Department of Homeland Security declared that it “regrets that the Supreme Court declined to issue a stay.” It added that “as the appeal process continues, however, DHS will comply with the order in good faith.”

Immigrant rights defense groups also protested the Supreme Court order. “Today’s SCOTUS decision forcing the reinstatement of the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy is nothing short of cruel,” declared Yael Schacher, Senior U.S. Advocate of Refugees International, adding that “the Biden administration must not see this decision as a mandate.”

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