One of the most conservative justices on the Supreme Court has stepped in and given a victory to the Joe Biden administration, even if it is only temporary.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued a temporary stay to a lower courts decision on having the Biden administration reinstate Donald Trump’s “Remain In Mexico” policy, The Associated Press reported.
It will remain in effect until Tuesday night so the high court can consider filings in the case.
A federal judge in Texas had previously ordered that the program, informally known as “Remain in Mexico,” be reinstated Saturday. The Biden administration appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Appeal in New Orleans and asked for a delay in re-implementing the program, pending appeal, but that was denied Thursday.
Formally known as the Migration Protection Protocols, the policy required tens of thousands of migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. to turn back to Mexico. It was meant to discourage asylum seekers but critics said it denied people the legal right to seek protection in the U.S. and forced them to wait in dangerous Mexican border cities.
The Texas judge, U.S. District Judge Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, ordered that the program be reinstated in response to a lawsuit filed by the states of Texas and Missouri, whose governors have been seeking to reinstate some of the hardline anti-immigration policies of the Trump administration.
The Department of Homeland Security “failed to consider several critical factors” before it got rid of the policy, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who was appointed by Donald Trump, said on last week, Bloomberg reported.
It’s another setback for President Joe Biden following a January ruling by a different judge in Texas that temporarily blocked the new administration’s plan to pause deportations of undocumented immigrants for 100 days.
Friday’s decision came in a lawsuit filed by the Republican-led states of Texas and Missouri, which claimed the suspension of the program was worsening conditions at the border and allowing criminals to slip into the country.
Biden suspended the so-called Remain in Mexico program the day after he office on Jan. 20., on the grounds that it pushed migrants into squalid and dangerous housing south of the border,
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in June that a review determined the policy “does not adequately or sustainably enhance border management in such a way as to justify the program’s extensive operational burdens and other shortfalls.”
“Over the course of the program, border encounters increased during certain periods and decreased during others. Moreover, in making my assessment, I share the belief that we can only manage migration in an effective, responsible, and durable manner if we approach the issue comprehensively, looking well beyond our own borders,” he wrote.
Judge Kacsmaryk said that the memo fails to mention some of the benefits of the policy, known as MPP.
“At the very least, the Secretary was required to show a reasoned decision for discounting the benefits of MPP. Instead, the June 1 Memorandum does not address the problems created by false claims of asylum or how MPP addressed those problems. Likewise, it does not address the fact that DHS previously found that ‘approximately 9 out of 10 asylum claims from Northern Triangle countries are ultimately found non-meritorious by federal immigration judges,’ and that MPP discouraged such aliens from traveling and attempting to cross the border in the first place,” he said.
Kacsmaryk ordered that the program be resumed, but he did stay his decision for 7 days to allow for the administration to seek relief in an appeals court.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who, along with the state of Missouri, brought the lawsuit, celebrated the decision on Twitter.
“ANOTHER VICTORY! We just won our second immigration lawsuit against the Biden Admin! They unlawfully tried to shut down the legal and effective Remain-in-Mexico program, but #Texas and Missouri wouldn’t have it. Together we sued, and just handed Biden yet another major loss!” the attorney general’s office tweeted.