U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court doesn’t disturb order forcing Biden to revive remain-in-Mexico policy

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday kept in place a judge’s order requiring reinstatement of a Trump administration policy requiring asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases are pending.

The Supreme Court’s Aug. 24 order indicated that three justices would have blocked reinstatement. They are Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

The New York Times, SCOTUSblog, CNN and the Washington Post have coverage.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. had temporarily blocked the judge’s order Aug. 20. That gave the full court time to decide the administration’s emergency request to block the ruling by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of Amarillo, Texas.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said challengers were likely to succeed in their argument that President Joe Biden’s administration’s rescission of the remain-in-Mexico program was arbitrary and capricious.

The court cited a June 2020 decision that overturned the Trump administration’s decision to phase out a program that deferred deportation for some immigrants. The court said the decision to rescind the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was arbitrary and capricious.

The remain-in-Mexico program must now be implemented as the case is litigated. The Supreme Court said its Aug. 24 order “should not be read as affecting the construction” of Kacsmaryk’s order when the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans rules on the merits.

Acting U.S. Solicitor General Brian Fletcher argued that the Supreme Court had shown deference to the Trump administration when it “repeatedly stayed broad lower-court injunctions against executive branch policies addressing matters of immigration, foreign policy and migration management.” He said the court should “do the same here.”

Texas and Missouri had challenged the rescission of the program, formally known as Migrant Protection Protocols.

“This is a huge win for border security and the rule of law, and highlights our efforts to continually fight back on federal government overreach,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said of the Supreme Court’s order in a press release.

Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement Kacsmaryk’s ruling was incorrect and should be reversed.

“The government must take all steps available to fully end this illegal program, including by re-terminating it with a fuller explanation,” Jadwat said.

The case is Biden v. Texas.

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