The Biden administration’s most recent attempt to put an end to the so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy which was first implemented in 2019 under then-President Donald Trump, was put on hold for now by a federal judge in Texas.
The controversial Trump-era policy sends certain non-Mexican citizens who entered the US back to Mexico – instead of detaining them or releasing them into the US – while their immigration proceedings played out.
The termination of the program that was outlined in an October 2021 policy memo of the White House was put on pause by US District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk while litigation around that memo continues.
Although the Biden administration has grappled with the mass migration in the Western Hemisphere and a growing number of border crossings, the Department of Homeland Security insists that the “Remain in Mexico” policy is not an effective use of resources and comes at a steep human cost.
Arguing that it’s inhumane, immigrant-rights advocates have been harshly criticizing the Migrant Protection Protocols, arguing that it exposes asylum seekers with credible claims to dangerous and squalid conditions in Mexico.
Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling marks a serious setback in President Joe Biden’s effort to reverse Trump’s hardline immigration policies, which are separate from the heavily criticized Title 42, which is set to end next week, and which has largely barred asylum at the US-Mexico border.
That authority was strongly opposed by public health experts and immigrant advocates whereas President Biden continually underscored that the program goes against everything the US stands for as a nation of immigrants.
Although the Supreme Court ruled in June 5-4 that the Biden administration had the discretion to end the program, it nonetheless sent the case back to Kacsmaryk to consider if the rollout of the October 2021 memo complied with the Administrative Procedure Act in how it went about unwinding ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy.
Republican states, in the meantime, argue that immigration law required the program to remain in effect.
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