The Supreme Court Tuesday night rejected a Biden administration request to block a lower court ruling requiring the restrictions of the “Remain in Mexico” to be put back in place. “Remain in Mexico” was a term referring to Trump’s “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP) policy.
Upon taking office, Biden moved immediately to wind down the MPP, readmitting 13,000 asylum applicants to wait for their court dates from inside the U.S., according to administration data.
Biden was trying to formally discontinue former President Donald Trump’s controversial 2018 policy forcing asylum seekers along the southern U.S. border to remain in Mexico while awaiting a hearing on their claims.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, ordered the Biden administration to resume the protocols after finding the policy change “arbitrary and capricious.”
The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals later declined Biden’s request to stay the order while the litigation continued.
In a single-page order, the U.S. Supreme agreed with Texas and a group of Republican-led states which claimed President Joe Biden did not lawfully cancel the policy and, in doing so, encouraged the record surge of migrants seen this year.
In a 6-3 vote, that pitted the court’s conservative majority against the three liberals, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
The decision effectively requires the Biden administration to comply with a lower court order to reinstate Trump’s “Migrant Protection Protocols” and deny entry to any migrant seeking to file an asylum claim.
The Supreme Court’s majority said the administration “failed to show a likelihood of success” for its argument that a 2021 Department of Homeland Security memorandum rescinding the policy was not arbitrary and capricious.
The case was seen as an early test of whether the court’s conservatives, including three appointed by Trump, would allow a lower court judge to challenge the president’s authority on a matter that the Supreme Court has historically given the executive branch wide latitude to control.