In a decision Friday night, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked a judge’s order calling for the reinstatement of the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy following a halt by President Biden.
Justice Samuel Alito issued a temporary stay that will be in effect until Tuesday night so he and the other Supreme Court justices can review the filings submitted in connection with the case, The Associated Press reported.
Alito’s stay came one day after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans denied a Biden administration request that the reinstatement of the Trump-era policy be delayed.
On Aug. 13 in Texas, a federal judge sided with the attorneys general from Texas and Missouri, who had filed a lawsuit seeking the reinstatement of “Remain in Mexico,” which is also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
The attorneys general had argued that the Biden administration’s move to end the Trump-era policy was a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is seen in Washington, March 7, 2019. (Associated Press)
MPP was established and expanded in 2019 by the Trump administration and involved sending migrants back to Mexico, rather than being released into the U.S., as their asylum proceedings were heard.
The policy, in cooperation with Mexico, resulted in court tents being set up along the border in places like Laredo, Texas, where migrants could briefly enter for their hearings before going back to Mexico.
The Trump administration argued that the policy ended “catch-and-release” — by which migrants were released into the U.S. — which it saw as a major pull factor drawing migrants north. Critics said the policy was cruel and led to migrants being put in danger in camps across the border.
The Biden administration promised to end the policy and began processing migrants enrolled in MPP into the U.S. shortly after entering office. In June, it formally halted the program.
Missouri and Texas sued the administration claiming that ending the policy was both illegal in the way that it was done, and that it harmed both border states and states deeper in the interior by encouraging migrants and therefore fueling the crisis at the southern border.
The lawsuit claimed some of the migrants released would commit crimes in their states, that it would lead to an increase in human trafficking, and that it would lead to higher costs for the states in areas like education and healthcare.
The ruling found that the termination of MPP “has contributed to the current border surge” and that DHS counsel had conceded as much. The judge also noted the increase in border apprehensions from fewer than 80,000 in January to about 173,000 in April when the lawsuit was filed. In July, there were more than 212,000 encounters at the border.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this story.