A federal judge in Texas has ordered President Joe Biden’s administration to reinstate his predecessor’s “remain in Mexico” policy, which forced tens of thousands of Central American asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. court cases.
This was seen as a victory for the states of Missouri and Texas, which brought the suit, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk said on Friday that the Biden administration had violated laws on procedure by failing to consider “several of the main benefits” of the program and acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” in ending it.
“Defendants are ordered to enforce and implement MPP in good faith until such time as it has been lawfully rescinded in compliance with the [Administrative Procedures Act] and until such a time as the federal government has sufficient detention capacity to detain all aliens subject to mandatory detention,” Kacsmaryk wrote Friday in his order for the lawsuit.
The Remain in Mexico program, which was created in 2018, was at the center of the Trump administration’s efforts in 2019 to deter migration to the U.S. southern border. Approximately 70,000 non-Mexican asylum applicants were enrolled in the program and returned to Mexico. The practice was scaled back during the coronavirus pandemic, when U.S. border officials were granted emergency powers by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expel unauthorized migrants without allowing them to request asylum.
The Biden administration has continued to use that Trump-era public health order, known as Title 42, to expel migrant adults and families with children. But it suspended the Remain in Mexico program on the day of President Biden’s inauguration. Since then, the Biden administration has allowed 13,000 asylum-seekers previously subjected to the Remain in Mexico rule to enter the U.S. and continue their court proceedings with family or sponsors, according to government data.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: YAHOO NEWS
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