A Texas federal judge has suspended the Biden administration’s latest attempt to end the so-called “Stay in Mexico” program for the time being.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk is staying the termination of the program that was outlined in an October 2021 policy memo while litigation around that memo continues.
The decision marks a setback in President Joe Biden’s efforts to end the controversial Trump-era policy of returning some non-Mexican citizens who entered the United States to Mexico – instead of detaining or releasing them in the United States – while their immigration process was playing out. out.
The program, officially known as Migrant Protection Protocols, is separate from Title 42, which is due to end next week. This authority, heavily criticized by public health experts and immigrant advocates, has largely banned asylum at the US-Mexico border.
In June, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Biden administration had discretion to terminate the program, rejecting Republican states’ arguments that immigration law required the program to remain in effect and granting relief. first victory for Biden’s immigration program in his effort to reverse Trump’s hardline immigration policies.
But the Supreme Court sent the case back to Kacsmaryk to consider whether the deployment of the October 2021 note complied with the Administrative Procedure Law – which requires agencies to take certain procedural steps when implementing the political – in the way it proceeded to untie the protocols for the protection of migrants.
The program, which was first implemented in 2019 under then-President Donald Trump, has been criticized by immigrant rights advocates, who argue it is inhumane and exposes asylum seekers with credible claims to dangerous and squalid conditions in Mexico.
Prior to the Trump administration implementing the “Remain in Mexico” program, no other administration had taken such an approach to non-Mexican asylum seekers that required them to remain in Mexico during their process before the immigration court in the United States. Biden campaigned to end the policy and said it “goes against everything we stand for as a nation of immigrants.”
Biden has grappled with an increasing number of border crossings during his administration amid massive migration in the Western Hemisphere. The Department of Homeland Security, however, argued that the “Stay in Mexico” policy has a high human cost and is not an efficient use of resources.
This story has been updated with additional details.