The Biden administration not only terminated a policy by the previous administration that forced tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to wait out their U.S. immigration court dates in dangerous regions of Mexico, but also said it would be seeking to give a second chance to vulnerable people previously denied justice under the inhumane and unlawful policy.
But last Friday, a federal judge appointed by the previous administration ruled that President Joe Biden must reimplement the policy, following a lawsuit from the Republican attorneys general of Missouri and Texas (of course Ken Paxton would be involved). Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s ruling, skewered by experts and advocates for not knowing much of anything about anything, doesn’t kick in for a week. The Biden administration, however, has since appealed.
Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy counsel for the American Immigration Council, called Kacsmaryk’s ruling ordering the Biden administration to reimplement Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as Remain in Mexico, a “bizarre decision.” The ruling claimed “the Biden administration's termination of the policy violated the Administrative Procedure Act,” CNN said.
”For example, at one point, Judge Kacsmaryk held that the Biden administration would violate a decades-old law if they chose not to send people back to Mexico under MPP—even though MPP did not exist until 2019 and was not applied across the entire border until January 2020,” Reichlin-Melnick wrote for Immigration Impact. Furthermore, he notes the judge claimed that the Biden administration can’t end Remain in Mexico until it has detention capacity for every single asylum-seeker, “something that has never occurred in modern history.”
Know-Nothings have already shown they don’t know much of anything or don’t care to know anything about the reality of immigration. Kacsmaryk, who at just 44 years old could be on the bench for decades, is showing what happens when the Know-Nothings get power.
But “while Kacsmaryk’s opinion is wrong on the law, there is no guarantee that it will be reversed by a higher court,” Vox reported. The Biden administration’s appeal is heading to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, “one of the most conservative courts in the country—and then potentially to a Supreme Court where Republican appointees have a 6-3 supermajority.”
“It is unclear how DHS would begin to restart MPP if this decision is allowed to stand,” Reichlin-Melnick said. “The Biden administration would be forced to negotiate with Mexico to accept individuals back under MPP, something the Mexican government may be unwilling to do. The country is already hosting thousands of people expelled back across the border under Title 42.” It would be throwing more people back into horrific danger, which is also on purpose. Like previously noted, the previous administration itself acknowledged that the policy is dangerous, in stunning audio made public last year.
In terminating the policy earlier this year, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that keeping it in place “would not be consistent with this administration’s vision and values and would be a poor use of the department’s resources.” Advocates like American Civil Liberties Union attorney Judy Rabinovitz called the policy’s end “a huge victory,” saying Remain in Mexico was “cruel” and “depraved.” And the right is eager to return to it because it’s exactly that.
“Regardless of this decision, the reality is that MPP was a disastrous program that inflicted severe harm on thousands,” Reichlin-Melnick concluded. “Sadly, Friday’s decision shows that the Biden administration’s ability to dismantle the inhumane policies of the prior administration remains at risk.”