One of former President Donald Trump’s policies on illegal immigration won a major victory Tuesday as the U.S. Supreme Court handed President Joe Biden an embarrassing defeat.
A terse Supreme Court ruling declared the Biden administration must stop its stalling and comply with a lower court order requiring Biden to follow Trump’s policy of making illegal immigrants wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are being processed.
The ruling was opposed by the three-member liberal wing of the court — Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — according to the ruling. That would mean that Trump’s three appointees — Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — all favored the restoration of Trump’s policy, as did Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas as well as Chief Justice John Roberts.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the news in a Twitter post.
BREAKING: The U.S. Supreme Court tells the Biden Administration to reinstate the “Remain in Mexico” policy put in place by the Trump Admin.
This halts Biden’s skirting of immigration laws & will reduce the record number of migrants entering illegally.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 25, 2021
Biden had ended the “remain in Mexico” policy, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP, as part of his rejection of Trump’s immigration policies. Republican attorneys general in Texas and Missouri sued in April to force the program’s reinstatement, according to USA Today.
Earlier this month, District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, ruled in favor of the states, according to the Texas Tribune.
In his ruling, Kacsmaryk said the Biden administration had two choices for illegal immigrants seeking asylum: “mandatory detention or a return to a contiguous territory.”
Horrified at the ruling, the Biden administration launched multiple appeals, ending with its defeat in an order issued at 8 p.m. Tuesday. The order said that the Biden administration “failed to show a likelihood of success on the claim that the memorandum rescinding the Migrant Protection Protocols was not arbitrary and capricious.”
In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security said it would begin working with Mexican officials to restart the program, according to Fox News.
The crux of the legal argument on the policy was that MPP was revoked without an assessment of its success, particularly in light of the current crisis.
“[I]t is clear that the Biden administration didn’t consider anything relevant to how it was working or notice and comment, and obviously we have a crisis at the border now,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has said about the case, according to Fox.
“Anyone who is paying attention knows we have a 21-year high in border crossings, drug traffickers, and human traffickers have been emboldened, and that affects not just Texas but states like Missouri,” he said.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton trumpeted the decision in a Twitter post.
PAXTON WINS AGAIN – REINSTATED Trump’s Remain in Mexico Policy! The US Supreme Court ruled for TX – again. SCOTUS said Remain in Mexico policy must be implemented now! #MPP #Immigration #Trump #BidenBorderCrisis pic.twitter.com/G3lCEJqZxS
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) August 25, 2021
The states argued that Biden’s order suspending the policy was wrong, and that the district court was right to reject it.
“The district court held that Defendants’ termination of the highly effective Migrant Protection Protocols was arbitrary and capricious and further violated the Immigration and Nationality Act,” Texas and Missouri argued in seeking to deny the stay.
They wrote that “the Court should consider ‘the interests of the public at large.’” That means “all the victims of the current seven-month border crisis, including States, border communities, and the migrants themselves. Defendants admit that migrants undertake enormous risks in ’embarking on dangerous and often futile journeys to the United States.'”
“By eliminating the ‘free ticket into the United States’ … MPP served to discourage such futile and dangerous journeys,” the states argued.
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