A federal judge in Texas ordered the Biden administration to reinstate the Trump-era policy of making asylum seekers wait in Mexico for court hearings in the United States, on Aug. 13.
Federal officials must revive the so-called Remain in Mexico program until it is “lawfully rescinded,” because the program was incorrectly suspended.
CBS News reported the government still has the capacity to hold all asylum-seekers and migrants, subject to mandatory detention. This is the professional opinion of U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who former President Trump appointed to the bench.
Kacsmaryk’s 53-page judgment found Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’s June memo violated federal administrative law through formally halting the Remain in Mexico policy. The judge found Mayorkas neglected to examine the program’s “benefits,” which include the policy’s deterrent effect on migrants who do not qualify for U.S. refugee status.
The Remain in Mexico program was launched in late 2018 as the centerpiece of Trump administration efforts to deter illegal migration across the southern border.
Reversing Trump’s border policy also resulted in the Biden administration breaching a U.S. immigration law provision. The provision requires certain asylum-seekers to be detained because there is insufficient detention capacity to hold all of them.
The judge slammed Mayorkas for disregarding his own departmental data, which shows nine out of 10 asylum requests from the Northern Triangle’s high-volume countries are frivolous. Eliminating the policy might even cause a surge in migration at the border according to Just The News.
“By ignoring its own previous assessment on the importance of deterring meritless asylum applications without a ‘reasoned analysis for the change,’ defendants acted arbitrarily and capriciously,” Kacsmaryk said.
The judge concluded cancelling the policy actually “contributed to the current border surge,” and put undue strain on frontier and interior regions that are already overwhelmed by migrants.
More than 212,000 migrants were apprehended along the Mexican border in July, representing a 21-year monthly high. The Biden administration blamed the surge in migration on poverty, crime, natural disasters, and pandemic-induced economic recessions in foreign countries.
The ruling represents a victory for Texas and Missouri, which filed the lawsuit challenging suspension of the Remain in Mexico rule. The rule is technically known as Migrant Protection Protocols.
Kacsmaryk also determined reversing the policy directly harmed Texas and Missouri. This is because migrants allowed to enter the United States use health care services, apply for driver’s licenses, and send their children to U.S. schools.
The two states applauded the judgment as a strong rebuke to the Biden administration.
“They unlawfully tried to shut down the legal and effective Remain-in-Mexico program but Texas and Missouri would not have it,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said on Twitter. “Together we sued and just handed Biden yet another major loss!”
ANOTHER VICTORY!— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) August 14, 2021
We just won our second immigration lawsuit against the Biden Admin! They unlawfully tried to shut down the legal and effective Remain-in-Mexico program, but #Texas and Missouri wouldn’t have it.
Together we sued, and just handed Biden yet another major loss! pic.twitter.com/Tcxte8gF6H
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) described the ruling as a “massive win” and “crucial.”
“Reimplementing the Migrant Protection Protocols will help secure the border and fight the scourge of human trafficking,” he said in a statement.
🚨Breaking — HUGE VICTORY— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) August 14, 2021
On Day 1 Joe Biden illegally reversed President Trump’s Remain In Mexico Policy/ MPP. Since then the #BidenBorderCrisis has been a disaster
We sued the Biden Admin & tonight a federal judge ruled in our favor. Huge win for border security & rule of law pic.twitter.com/nTheJYplGa