Feb 20 – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday granted a hearing on President Joe Biden’s application to rescind a strict immigration policy that began under his predecessor Donald Trump, forcing tens of thousands of immigrants to stay in Mexico to await US bailout.
The judges will hear a bid from Biden executives over a lower court decision that reversed a policy called “stay in Mexico” after the Republic of Texas and Missouri-led states applied for a stay of the program. Biden set a goal, which changed the long-running US policy, shortly after taking office last year.
The Supreme Court adjourned the case to its current term in April, and a decision is expected by the end of June.
Trump officials say what they call a security and humanitarian crisis near the US-Mexican border is justified in refusing to allow immigrants seeking asylum, for fear of persecution in their home countries, to enter the United States before a trial before immigrant judges. This policy is officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
The previous administration used the immigration provision in the case, which came into effect in 1997, to a lesser extent, court documents said.
Biden’s administration said the provision was clearly voluntary and that a lower court decision meant that all presidential officials had “been systematically violating the law” since its inception.
About 68,000 people fall under this policy from its inception in 2019 until Biden suspended it in 2021.
Biden Democrat supporters and immigration lawyers have criticized Trump’s policy, saying immigrants trapped in cities along the Mexican border face the risk of abduction and other risks.
Texas and Missouri have challenged a bid by Biden management to overturn the policy, which included an invitation to terminate a plan released last June.
After a state judge reinstated the case, the Supreme Court in August last year rejected an appeal by Biden management to overturn the decision while the government filed an appeal.
The 5th U.S. District Court of Appeals based in New Orleans in December upheld the judge’s decision, ruling that Biden’s action violated state immigration and administrative law. The 5th Circuit said that because the government does not have the power to arrest all immigrants who do not qualify for admission while awaiting trial, they should “stay in Mexico.”
In their appeal to the Supreme Court, Biden officials said it was “necessary to reinstate and continue implementing the controversial policy” which puts immigrants at risk of security, damages relations with Mexico and is not the best tool to prevent illegal immigration.
Officials also claim that the lower courts unjustly infringed on the long-term authority of US presidents in foreign and foreign affairs – a policy that the Supreme Court has long upheld, including cases during Trump’s presidency.
The number of immigrants caught crossing the US-Mexico border has risen sharply in recent history, with some Republicans and Trump criticizing Biden’s foreign policy.
Biden’s administration has left a separate Trump administration order that allows U.S. border officials, in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, to immediately deport immigrants held at the border without giving them a chance to seek asylum in the United States.