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Biden Administration Can Get Rid Of Trump’s ‘Remain In Mexico’ Policy, Supreme Court Rules

Forbes logo Forbes 6/30/2022 Alison Durkee, Forbes Staff


The Biden administration can rescind the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy that forced asylum seekers to stay out of the U.S. as they awaited an immigration hearing, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday, after conservative federal judges had previously thwarted the White House’s attempts to get rid of the controversial policy.

Immigrant rights activists demonstrate in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on April 26. AFP via Getty Images © Provided by Forbes Immigrant rights activists demonstrate in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on April 26. AFP via Getty Images

Key Facts

Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by the court’s liberal justices and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, ruled the Biden administration did have the authority to get rid of the Migrant Protection Protocols, known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

GOP officials in Texas and Missouri had sued the administration after it rescinded the Trump-era policy after President Joe Biden took office, and both district and appeals courts had ruled in the states’ favor and said the policy should remain in effect.

Those lower courts “erred” by upholding the policy, the justices ruled, however, and nothing stopped the Biden administration from getting rid of it.

Big Number

Approximately 70,000. That’s how many immigrants were forced to return to Mexico under the MPP policy under the Trump administration, according to figures cited by the American Immigration Council and UNICEF.

Key Background

The Trump administration first enacted the “Remain in Mexico” policy in January 2019 as part of the administration’s broader hard-line immigration tactics, reversing a previous policy that let asylum-seekers stay in the U.S. as they awaited their immigration trials. After the Biden administration moved to end the policy, Missouri and Texas’ attorneys general argued in their April 2021 lawsuit that the administration had done so unlawfully and without sufficiently explaining why. A Trump-appointed federal judge sided with the GOP-led states and forced the White House to reimpose the policy in August, and the conservative-leaning 5th Circuit Court of Appeals similarly sided against the Biden administration in December, even after the Biden administration released a new memo that more fully explained their reasoning for terminating the program. The Supreme Court’s decision Thursday came after justices had previously sided with the district judge in August and refused to let the Biden administration keep the policy in effect as the litigation moved forward.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Further Reading

U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on whether Biden can toss Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy (Texas Tribune)

Supreme Court Forces Biden To Return To ‘Remain In Mexico’ Asylum Policy (Forbes)

Biden Administration Again Seeks End To Trump’s ‘Remain In Mexico’ Policy (Forbes)


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