The Biden administration will not be ending President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy soon as a federal judge blocked the most recent attempt on Thursday.
Under the “Remain in Mexico” policy, non-Mexican migrants are not detained or released into the United States while they await proceedings in their immigration. Instead, they are sent to Mexico.
From the first day President Biden took office, he has fought to end the policy under the Migrant Protection Protocols, saying it “goes against everything we stand for as a nation of immigrants.” Since then, litigation in the case has bounced between different courts.
In June, the Supreme Court left the fate of the program to the Biden administration’s discretion. The administration had already begun to unwind the “Remain in Mexico” policy.
However, the termination of the program was outlined in a policy memo from October 21. The Supreme Court had sent the case back to U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who initially ordered that the order be reinstated to determine whether the rollout of the memo complied with the Administrative Procedure Act in its process of unwinding Migrant Protection Protocols.
The judge said in its ruling that the Biden administration “failed to consider the policy’s benefits, including reducing illegal immigration and “unmeritorious asylum claims.”
He also pointed out that while the administration highlighted conditions migrants might face during their stay in Mexico, they failed to mention the hardships they face when journeying the dangerous path down to the southern border in the first place.
Kacsmaryk’s blocking of the bid is only temporary until legal issues by Texas and Missouri are settled in court.
The court’s ruling comes amidst a daily influx of migrants seen daily in El Paso, Texas and other border cities. If the asylum restrictions under Trump end next week as planned, the volume of migrants would have drastically increased.
For Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the decision is a win. “It’s a common sense policy to prevent people from entering our country illegally,” he tweeted.
Texas court compels Biden to continue enforcing the remain in Mexico policy.
It’s a common sense policy to prevent people from entering our country illegally.
Texas wins again, for now. https://t.co/MJEOIw1mzw
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) December 16, 2022
Attorney General of Texas Ken Paxton also praised the ruling in a statement. “The court made the right decision here in protecting Remain-in-Mexico and I look forward to fighting to make sure the program is secured indefinitely,” he said.
I sued Biden nearly 2 yrs. ago to keep Remain-in-Mexico. The Admin played games all the way to SCOTUS, but tonight Texas & USA WINS.
I just secured an order from a federal court ordering Biden not to scrap the program.
Biden’s open-border agenda won’t survive my legal attacks.
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) December 16, 2022
However, the Biden administration, obviously not favored by the ruling, may appeal. In a statement issued after the order, the Department of Homeland Security shared that it was considering its next steps as it disagreed with the ruling. The department believes the government has the right to end the policy.