In bombshell ruling, US District Judge rules Biden must reinstate Trump’s “remain in Mexico” program

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DALLAS, TX- This is huge.

A federal judge has ruled that the Biden administration must reinstate former President Donald Trump’s immigration program known as the “Stay in Mexico” policy.

That policy required migrants seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border must stay in Mexico while awaiting their asylum applications.

The ruling came as a result of lawsuits filed by Texas and Missouri filed against the Biden administration arguing termination of the policy was both illegal and harmful, Town Hall reports.

 U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas ruled that the Remain in Mexico policy must be reinstated, ruling that the administration “failed to consider several critical factors” of the policy which included benefits the program provided.

Texas and Missouri had sought a preliminary injunction against the suspension of the policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), Fox News said.

The states claimed ending the policy was a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. The MPP was suspended by Biden shortly after he took office in January.

In a tweet, Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) applauded the ruling:

“The immigration laws passed by Congress must be enforced!!”

The remain in Mexico policy was designed to prevent so-called “catch and release,” which has been re-instituted since Biden took office and which has led in part to the border being overrun.

What has occurred since Biden scuttled the program is aliens claiming asylum in the U.S. are instead released into the United States while immigration courts decided their fate, according to The Blaze. Many of those aliens were released without a court date and disappeared into the country, never to be seen again.

Embattled Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who has faced both calls to resign as well as articles of impeachment, announced on June 1 that the program was being officially ended, according to Bloomberg News.

In his order, Kacsmaryk directed the Biden administration “to enforce and implement MPP in good faith” until it has been “lawfully rescinded” in accordance with the APA (Administration Procedure Act), and until the government has sufficient space within detention facilities to house all migrants that must be detained. The order does not mandate further deportations.

“Nothing in this injunction requires DHS to take any immigration or removal action nor withhold its statutory discretion towards any individual that it would not otherwise take,” the judge ruled.

In his directive on June 1, Mayorkas said in a memo that the Trump policy “does not adequately or sustainably enhance border management in such a way as to justify the program’s operational burdens and other shortfalls.”

That narrative was disputed by Kacsmaryk in his 53-page ruling, where he noted that Mayorkas had not shown evidence of a “reasoned decision” for halting the program. He said the actions were “arbitrary” and “capricious.”

He also ruled the HHS secretary (Xavier Becerra) had not addressed “the problems created by false claims of asylum” or that many asylum seekers are “found non-meritorious by federal immigration judges.”

It will be interesting to see if the Biden administration will actually abide by the ruling. Last week, they defied a ruling from the United States Supreme Court in which they ruled the administration’s executive order suspending evictions was unconstitutional. Despite that, Biden did so anyway. In other words, we are dealing with what appears to be a rogue administration.

In Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton celebrated the ruling in a tweet:

“We just won our second immigration lawsuit against the Biden Admin! They unlawfully tried to shut down the legal and effective Remain-in-Mexico program, but #Texas and Missouri wouldn’t have it. Together we sued, and just handed Biden yet another major loss!”

In a statement, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement that the judge’s ruling was “a big step toward securing the border.”

“Today, in a huge win for the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and in a big step towards securing the border, a federal court issued a nationwide permanent injunction, reversing the Biden Administration’s suspension of the program and ordering the Biden Administration to reimplement the program.”

Kacsmaryk put the ruling on hold for one week in order to allow the administration to appeal.

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For more on President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” program, we invite you to read our earlier reporting on it:

DIG DEEPER

WASHINGTON, D.C. – So much winning! In another win for the Trump Administration, the U.S. Supreme Court granted approval for one of the administration’s signature policies Wednesday, allowing the contentious “Remain in Mexico” policy across the southern border of the U.S. to remain in place until lawsuits over the issue are settled.  

The policy which is officially known as the “Migrant Protection Protocols” mandates that asylum seekers must remain in Mexico until such time as they receive their day in U.S. immigration court. Previously such people were allowed to come into the United States and wait for their hearings here, however many of them blew off the hearings and remained illegally.

The policy has meant that some 60,000 migrants have been sent back across the border into Mexico since the MPP was implemented back in January of last year. Right now, tens of thousands are still stuck in that country, which requires living in filthy and dangerous conditions.

The ruling Wednesday approved an emergency request by the administration to leave the program in place for now while legal proceedings continue. The order blocks the effect of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that implemented an injunction against implementation of the policy by the administration. The court stayed its decision the same day and deferred to the Supreme Court which made the ruling Wednesday.

However, the appeals court, which apparently suffers from judicial dyslexia later issued a new order, blocking the policies in two border states only—California and Arizona. That order was supposed to take effect Thursday. The Supreme Court’s decision puts that issue to rest while lawsuits work their way through the federal court system.

The order from the Supreme Court was a one-line order that put on hold the ruling by the 9th Circuit. Only one member of the court issued a dissent—Justice Sonia Sotomayor said she had voted to turn down the government’s appeal.

By prevailing on the policy at least temporarily, the Trump administration won the ability to maintain the Remain in Mexico policy at least for three months, and possibly through next year. It is believed that the justices will likely grant a review of the case when administration lawyers submit an appeal petition in June.

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The Justice Department in a statement said it was gratified by the court’s decision and said the policy has been “critical to restoring the government’s ability to manage the Southwest border and to work cooperatively with the Mexican government to address illegal immigration.” Officials called MPP a “game-changer” in alleviating what they called a “mass migration crisis.”

The Justice Department had argued that an injunction against the policy would create chaos along the southern border, prompting a rush by migrants into the country that would put American citizens at risk.

After the ruling, the White House press secretary issued a statement calling the order “a major victory for the Trump Administration” and “has prevented dangerous chaos at the southern border, avoided a significant escalation in public health threats and mitigated damage to foreign relations.”

“Open borders do not serve the American public, and we will always strongly enforce the laws at our borders and airports,” the statement said.

Immigration advocates, however, say that the policy puts migrants in unnecessary danger by forcing them to wait in high-crime areas on the Mexican border, in cities such as Tijuana, Juarez, Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros.

“The Court of Appeals unequivocally declared this policy to be illegal. The Supreme Court should as well,” stated Judy Rabinovitz, special counsel in the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

“Asylum seekers face grave danger and irreversible harm every day this depraved policy remains in effect,” Rabinovitz added.

Judges from the 9th Circuit had said that MPP likely violated federal “non-refoulement” obligations under international and domestic laws, which prohibits the government from returning people to a country where they would face persecution or torture.

Going back over the past three years, Solicitor Gen. Noel Francisco has repeatedly sent emergency appeals on behalf of the Trump administration to the high court, confident its conservative majority will put on hold decisions by liberal judges in California who rule against the president’s policies.

Last Friday, he asked the judges to intervene in the MPP case to prevent what he said would be a “rush on the border” by the thousands of migrants reacting to the 9th Circuit’s decision.

Indeed, a couple of weeks back when the Circuit initially implemented the injunction against the administration’s’ policy, there was something of a rush on the border. When the Circuit reversed itself only hours later, it created chaos.

Francisco said the MPP has proved to be an “enormously effective and indispensable tool” to cope with “the humanitarian and security crisis” at the southern border.  He told the justices that prior to the policy, some 2,000 migrants per day had been arriving at the southern border seeking to enter the U.S. and apply for asylum. In addition, he said the “vast majority” of them did not have strong claims they were fleeing government-sponsored political persecution in their homelands, primarily in Central America.

In order to get control on the flow of migrants flooding the border, administration attorneys looked at one provision in a 1996 immigration law that said the attorney general “may return the alien” to “a foreign territory contiguous to the United States” to await a hearing there.

The legal dispute came about on whether or not that provision applied broadly to all incoming immigrants, as was maintained by the administration’s lawyers, or whether it applied only to “extremely undesirable immigrants” such as drug traffickers and smugglers, as held by the 9th Circuit.

The MPP has been in effect since January 2019. The solicitor general said that since the policy was enacted, “it has enabled the temporary return of over 60,00 aliens to Mexico.”

Immigrant rights lawyers filed suit in San Francisco (where else?) and last April, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg handed down a nationwide preliminary injunction to block the policy.

A month later, the 9th Circuit lifted the temporary order, which led lawyers back to court arguing that the administration exceeded its authority under federal immigration laws.

A different panel of the same circuit ruled by a 2-1 vote agreed with that argument last February. Judges William Fletcher and Richard Paez said the “return-to-a-contiguous-territory provision” in the immigration law was understood to apply to only a small category of “other aliens,” not the thousands of immigrants who arrive at the borders.

They also held that it violated U.S. duties under international treaties because it sent asylum seekers back to areas where they would be subject to torture and persecution.

In arguments before the Supreme Court, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union had urged the court to reject the appeal.

They argued that the administration had adopted “an unprecedented policy that fundamentally changed the nation’s asylum system” and “Returned more than 60,000 asylum seekers to Mexico, where they are exposed to kidnapping, assault, rape and other violent attacks.”

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