U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk was appointed by Trump in Amarillo (Texas) on August 13. He ordered that the Biden administration restore the policy within seven working days. The judge heard arguments from Republican Attorney Generals of Texas and Missouri that the Biden administration failed to meet legal requirements to evaluate all factors before stopping the Trump-era policy.
Critics of Trump's policy claimed it put at risk the lives of migrants, requiring them to wait in Mexico. This includes border cities plagued by violence, gangs, and drugs. Trump's aides claimed it prevented immigrants from failing to appear at immigration hearings once they were allowed to reside in the U.S.
Advocates for immigrants rights expressed dismay at the action of the high courts, but stressed that Biden still had the authority to repeal Trump's policy through a new process that the courts would approve.
Omar Jadwat, American Civil Liberties Union, stated that the Trump return to Mexico policy was canceled by the Biden administration. This policy was designed to punish asylum seekers by putting them in dangerous and miserable conditions. This illegal program must be ended completely by the government. It must not use this decision to cover up its commitment to restoring a fair asylum system.
Paola Luisi, of Families Belong Together (a coalition of immigrant rights organizations), said that many people in Mexico waiting for asylum have been kidnapped and raped, as well as killed, because of this policy. They arrived at our door with the belief that America was responsible for their safety. We will not accept any policy that is temporary and separates families. We call on the Biden administration not to allow this cruel Remain in Mexico policy to continue.
Immigrant advocates were angry at the Remain in Mexico policies, but pandemic-related policies that Trump instituted and most importantly retained under Biden resulted in many asylum seekers being expelled quickly to Mexico.
Conservatives are trying to use legal precedents that were established during Trump's presidency to undo Bidens immigration initiatives. In a brief ruling on Tuesday night, the Supreme Court cited the Supreme Court's decision last year that blocked Trump's repeal of Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) policy. This policy gave work permits and protection from deportation to illegal immigrants who had entered the U.S. as children.
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Trump's administration had violated the Administrative Procedure Act, failing to take into account important factors. Trump and some conservatives were angered by Chief Justice John Roberts joining the courts of Democratic appointees in order to stop Trump's end-of-DACA.
The Biden administration requested the Supreme Court to intervene after failing to secure a stay from the federal appeals court. Justice Samuel Alito temporarily stopped the lower court order that required a return to Remain in Mexico. The courts lifted the stay Tuesday.
Lawyers for the Justice Department argued that reintroducing the policy would cause great disruption and could lead to strained relations between the United States and Mexico.
The Supreme Courts order Tuesday night offered hope for the Biden administration. It contained language that indicated that justices did not approve the details of Kacsmaryk's injunction and left open the possibility of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could alter it.
Sabrina Rodriguez contributed to the report.