remain in mexico policy

In a 5-4 ruling on June 30th, the Supreme Court decided that the Biden administration has the right to revoke the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” program which required asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico while USCIS processed their cases. The ruling comes in response to Texas and Missouri’s assertions that the Biden administration was violating a section of immigration law by rescinding the Remain in Mexico program. The case was sent to the district court and the official ruling was made on Thursday.

At this point, it hasn’t been announced whether the administration will put an end to the program immediately or hold off because the way the Supreme Court left the ruling leaves room for states like Texas to continue pushing the administration to enforce the policy.

Since the Migrant Protection Protocols have been in place, roughly 70,000 migrants seeking asylum have been sent to Mexico to await processing, resulting in massive refugee camps on the other side of the border, increased kidnappings and rapes. Based on data from Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse Immigration,  fewer than 2% of completed Migrant Protection Protocol cases ended with a person being granted asylum. The Biden administration has devised a new plan to put a cap on how long it takes to process asylum cases with a goal of 6 months, compared to the current average which hovers around five years.

The program was initially enacted in January 2019 by the Trump administration but when the Biden administration took over, the program was suspended by Mayorkas in January 2021 then canceled 5 months later. When that happened, Texas and Missouri launched a suit again the administration saying that by terminating the Remain in Mexico program they were violating the Migrant Protection Protocols and further putting strain on the states to spend more on these migrants for things like driver’s licenses, hospital care and educating minors.

“After a thorough review, the prior administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) has endemic flaws, imposes unjustifiable human costs, and pulls resources and personnel away from other priority efforts to secure our border ” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Ken Paxton, the Texas Attorney General, has gone on the record saying that Biden’s immigration strategy “makes the border crisis worse.. I’ll keep pressing forward and focus on securing the border and keeping our communities safe in the dozen other immigration suits I’m litigating in court.”

Stay tuned for more updates on what steps the Biden administration takes next!