US Supreme Court upholds Joe Biden’s proposal to end Donald Trump’s ‘stay in Mexico’ policy

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld President Joe Biden’s push to end the crackdown on immigration policies launched under his predecessor Donald Trump that forced tens of thousands of migrants to stay in Mexico pending U.S. hearings on their asylum claims.

Judges in a 5-4 ruling authored by Chief Justice John Roberts overturned a lower court decision requiring Biden to renew Trump’s “stay in Mexico” policy after Republican-led states of Texas and Missouri sued to keep the program .


The ruling supports Biden as he takes what he calls a more “humane” approach to the southern border, even as Republicans blame him for what they portray as an immigration crisis.
The judges concluded that the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong in concluding that federal immigration law requires migrants to be sent back to Mexico if there is insufficient space in the United States to detain them.

“The problem is that the bylaws say nothing of the sort,” Roberts wrote, adding that the 5th Circuit’s decision also erroneously placed a “significant burden” on the U.S. government’s ability to maintain diplomatic relations with Mexico.


The Trump administration adopted a policy officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols in 2018 in response to increased migration along the US-Mexico border, reversing a longstanding practice.
He prevented some non-Mexican migrants, including asylum seekers who fear persecution in their home countries, from being released to the United States to await immigration procedures instead of returning them to Mexico.
Biden’s Democratic colleagues and immigration advocates have criticized Trump’s policies, saying migrants stranded in Mexican border cities face kidnappings and other dangers.
Chief Justice Roberts was joined by fellow Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh and three Liberal Justices in the ruling.

Dissenting, Judge Samuel Alito, joined by fellow Conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, said Congress never wanted the government to release immigrants and simply hoped they would “appear for hearing.”


The ruling also accused the 5th District of overturning the administration’s June 2021 decision to end the Trump program. The Fifth Circuit found that the Biden administration failed to properly explain the reversal of Trump’s policies in violation of federal administrative law.
But the Supreme Court found that the June 2021 decision was superseded by a new, more detailed one issued by the administration four months later.
Mr. Biden suspended the “stay in Mexico” policy in January 2021 shortly after taking office and rescinded it five months later. Approximately 68,000 people have been affected by this policy since it went into effect in 2019 until Mr. Biden suspended it.

The case discussed the meaning of a provision in the 1996 US immigration law that stated that US officials “may return” certain immigrants to Mexican territory pending immigration proceedings.

Texas and Missouri said the provision needed to be used because there were not enough places in the United States to detain migrants. The Biden administration has said the provision is clearly discretionary.
For migrants who do not pose a security threat, immigration law specifically allows them to be released to the United States for humanitarian reasons or “significant public benefit” prior to a hearing, a practice that officials have followed for decades.

Judge Cavanaugh, in a concurring opinion, said that every president since the late 1990s has allowed immigrants to enter the United States pending trial.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, criticized the decision, saying it would “only reinforce the Biden administration’s open borders policy.” Immigrant rights groups called the decision a victory.
“The U.S. has been a haven for generations of those fleeing danger and persecution,” said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Center for Immigration Law, calling on the Biden administration to “act quickly to permanently end all aspects of the human rights catastrophe that is occurring.” “. stay in Mexico.
Recently, the number of migrants detained while crossing the US-Mexico border has reached an all-time high. Republicans argue that the “stay in Mexico” policy effectively deters illegal migration.
After a judge ruled in favor of Texas and Missouri and reinstated the program, the Supreme Court last August denied the Biden administration’s request to block the ruling while it appeals.
In December, the 5th District ruled that because the government does not have the ability to detain all migrants eligible for admission prior to a hearing, it must retain “remain in Mexico.”

Thursday’s decision was made on the final day of the court’s rulings for the current nine-month period.