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SCOTUS to Biden: Reinstate Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' Policy

High court refuses to block lower court ruling
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 25, 2021 1:03 AM CDT
Supreme Court to Biden: Reinstate Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' Policy
Migrants waiting to cross into the United States wait for news at the border crossing Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Tijuana, Mexico.   (AP Photo/Elliot Spagat)

(Newser) – The Supreme Court says the Biden administration likely violated federal law in trying to end a Trump-era program that forces people to wait in Mexico while seeking asylum in the US. With three liberal justices in dissent, the high court on Tuesday refused to block a lower court ruling ordering the administration to reinstate the program informally known as Remain in Mexico, the AP reports. It's not clear how many people will be affected and how quickly. Under the lower court ruling, the administration must make a “good faith effort” to restart the program. There also is nothing preventing the administration from trying again to end the program, formally called Migrant Protection Protocols. A federal judge in Texas had previously ordered that the program be reinstated last week. Both he and the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals refused the administration's request to put the ruling on hold.

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The high court offered little explanation for its action, although it cited its opinion from last year rejecting the Trump administration's effort to end another immigration program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. In that case, the court held that the decision to end DACA was “arbitrary and capricious,” in violation of federal law. The administration has “failed to show a likelihood of success on the claim that the memorandum rescinding the Migrant Protection Protocols was not arbitrary and capricious," the court wrote Tuesday in an unsigned order. The Texas judge 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.

(Read more immigration stories.)

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