The Biden administration on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to review its case seeking to end the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy.
Earlier this month, three Republican-appointed judges for the U.S. 5th Circuit Court rejected the White House’s appeal to allow an end the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, and upheld a lower court’s determination that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) termination of the policy under the Biden administration was improper.
Soon after assuming office, the Biden administration sought to end MPP, but Texas and Missouri sued in an effort to keep the policy in place, calling it a “common sense” approach to asylum law.
Immigration advocates, meanwhile, say that the MPP is in violation of U.S. statute as well as the U.S.’s international obligations to give asylum-seekers a safe place to wait as their applications are processed.
The 5th Circuit’s decision was written by Trump appointed Judge Andrew Oldham, who said that DHS’s proposed approach to the policy was “as unlawful as it is illogical.”
In its petition to the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Biden administration said that the Supreme Court should review this case as previous decisions against ending MPP were made on “erroneous interpretations” of federal laws — namely the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.
The DOJ noted that the court of appeals ruled that U.S. code requires DHS to maintain the “Remain in Mexico” policy. The DOJ argued that if this is correct, then all other administrations — including the Trump administration — were in violation of federal law since 1997, when the specific section of the code in question went into effect.
The DOJ further argued that the lower court had erred in its decision that DHS Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasTask force has reunited 100 children with families separated under Trump Five Eyes nations warn of cyber threats from Apache vulnerability Hillicon Valley — Biden’s misinformation warning MORE‘s decision earlier this year to terminate MPP had no legal effect. The department stated that Mayorkas had done “exactly” what he was supposed to do and the court of appeals’ decision “ignored bedrock principles of administrative law.”
“In short, the lower courts have commanded DHS to implement and enforce the short-lived and controversial MPP program in perpetuity. And they have done so despite determinations by the politically accountable Executive Branch that MPP is not the best tool for deterring unlawful migration; that MPP exposes migrants to unacceptable risks; and that MPP detracts from the Executive’s foreign-relations efforts to manage regional migration,” the petition stated.