The Supreme Court allowed the Biden administration to reverse the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, which will now invite more illegal immigrants to the United States.
Under Trump’s policy, the migrants had to stay in Mexico to await their court hearings, instead of being released into the United States, which will not be the case anymore.
Supreme Court Reverses Remain in Mexico
When Biden repealed the Migration Protection Protocol (MPP) earlier, a lower court blocked the effort, which brought the issue to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court had to decide if the Department of Homeland Security violated federal law, which required the administration to either detain or send illegal immigrants back.
In the 5-4 ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the reversal of the MPP was not in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The statute of INA, which Roberts cited, mentioned illegal immigrants could be detained at the border, unless they “clearly and beyond the doubt” qualify to be admitted into the US.
Similarly, the statute also establishes that immigrants belonging to contiguous territories like Mexico can be returned to their home countries until their court hearings.
In final opinion of the term, SCOTUS clears Biden administration to shut down Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy for asylum seekers.
Roberts and Kavanaugh join the liberals in a 5-4 decision.@scotusreporter https://t.co/5fX1IryO3z
— Ann Marimow (@amarimow) June 30, 2022
However, Texas has previously claimed this wording of sending immigrants back when they are not clearly entitled to be admitted to the USA maintains the legality of the Remain in Mexico Policy.
The court pointed out the wording of the law, which says the administration “may return” immigrants to a contiguous territory.
This means, the judges wrote, the government can do this if they want, but they are not bound to send them back.
Congress needs to be more clear in its wording if it wants to make the expulsion compulsory for migrants who cannot be detained, the chief justice added.
Biden Administration Overly Optimistic
The judges also noted the compulsive return of migrants to the contiguous territory could deteriorate US bilateral relations with Mexico.
As “direct diplomacy” is the sole power of the executive branch, according to the verdict, allowing the MPP will hinder the executive’s authority to maintain healthy relations with Mexico.
On the other hand, conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett noted she agreed with other justices in the interpretation of the immigration laws.
However, a recent decision of the Supreme Court in another immigration case questions the authority of the top court to hear immigration matters in the first place.
Ending the remain in Mexico policy is going to be a disaster for our safety and economy.
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) June 30, 2022
Instead, Barrett wrote, the Supreme Court should ask the lower court to reconsider its decision, instead of giving its own verdict.
In the more assertive dissent, Justice Samuel Alito wrote the government has no authority to release migrants into the United States if they are not qualified for admission.
He added the government is overly optimistic in thinking migrants will just show up on their hearing dates.