FederalImmigration & BorderIssuesSupreme Court Ruling Allows President Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy to Continue

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling allowing the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" policy to continue while legal proceedings are underway.
March 12, 2020
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that allows President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy to continue while legal proceedings are still underway.

Formally known as the Migration Protection Protocols (MPPs), the policy authorizes certain asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their immigration cases are adjudicated in the United States.

As a result, hundreds of migrants have established camps in what lawyers and immigrant rights advocates describe as unsafe conditions fraught with violence, kidnappings, and murder.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Wednesday comes after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco blocked the MPPs through a nationwide injunction last year. 

Soon after this ruling, however, the lower court issued a separate ruling, allowing the policy to remain in effect while the Trump administration appealed the decision to the Supreme Court.

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Then, last month, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to limit its ruling to only Arizona and California, the two states in its jurisdiction. 

The Trump administration argued that a rush of up to 25,000 asylum-seekers would ensue along the western side of the U.S.-Mexico border as a result.

In recent months, the Trump administration has touted the success of its hawkish immigration initiatives, citing the declining number of total apprehensions at the southwestern border.

From the peak of apprehensions in May 2019 through January 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported eight months of consecutive decline in the total number of apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Officials with CBP cited concerns about large numbers of migrants overwhelming border security authorities if the policy is repealed.

Border authorities also cited the growing threats posed by the coronavirus as a concern if this were to happen.

On the other side, lawyers for those affected by the policy continued to argue that those waiting in Mexico face great dangers and harm.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday granted the emergency stay requested by the administration.

While only five votes were needed to grant the emergency stay, Justice Sonia Sotomayer was the only justice to publicly state her opposition to the ruling.

A tally of how all nine justices ruled has not been released.

Moving forward, the stay will remain in effect until the Supreme Court decides whether or not to add the case to its docket.


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Sarah McConnell, Reporter for The Texan

Sarah McConnell

Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.