Legislation that enabled border officials to turn migrants seeking asylum back to Mexico, even if they aren’t Mexican, will remain in place after a federal judge ruled the Biden Admin cannot end the Trump-era policy until legal challenges have played out.
The policy, casually known as “Remain in Mexico” and formerly known as the “Migration Protection Protocols,” was enacted in 2019.
It allows border officials to send migrants to Mexico while awaiting asylum proceedings.
Since Biden took office, roughly 70,000 migrants have been turned away from the border under the policy.
To prevent the President from ending the policy, Texas and Missouri took legal action against Biden, which ultimately delayed the legislation’s repeal.
In a 5-4 ruling issued in June, the U.S. Supreme Court indicated the President could end the policy, noting that rescinding it didn’t break federal legislation.
However, in its ruling, the Supreme Court also returned the issue to lower courts for additional proceedings.
Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmary was tasked with ascertaining if the Biden admin’s actions were “arbitrary and capricious” and violated the Administrative Procedure Act.
In his ruling, Kacsmary ruled Texas satisfied the requirements to have a preliminary injunction issued.
Those requirements included a likelihood of success based on its argument’s merits, the balance of equity tipping in its favor, public interest favoring the plaintiff, and the likelihood of suffering irreparable harm.
Kacsmary also noted that the October 2021 memo in which the Biden administration attempted to rescind the policy lacked the consideration of “key benefits,” including a reduction in frivolous asylum claims.
Although Kacsmary’s ruling gives border towns some reprieve, Title 42 — the Trump-era policy allowing the federal government to turn migrants away based on preventing a potential outbreak — will end this month.