Lawrence Hurley and Ted Hesson, Reuters, August 24, 2021
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday denied President Joe Biden’s bid to rescind an immigration policy implemented by his predecessor, Donald Trump, that forced thousands of asylum seekers to stay in Mexico awaiting U.S. hearings.
The court, with three liberal justices dissenting, rejected the Biden administration’s effort to block a Texas-based judge’s ruling requiring the government to revive Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program.
The Supreme Court’s 6-3 conservative majority includes three justices appointed by Trump.
The brief order by the justices means that U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s ruling now goes into effect.
The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement it regretted the Supreme Court’s decision and would continue to “vigorously challenge” the district court ruling. As the appeals process continues, it said, the agency will comply with the order “in good faith” and has begun discussions with Mexico.
The court’s decision referenced its 2020 ruling that thwarted Trump’s bid to end a program introduced by Democratic former President Barack Obama that protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants – often called “Dreamers” – who entered the United States illegally as children.
Both cases concern whether the government followed the correct legal process in unwinding a previous administration’s policy.
Biden, who has sought since taking office in January to reverse many of Trump’s hardline immigration policies, rolled back the MPP program. Republican-led Texas and Missouri challenged the Democratic president’s move.