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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Mayorkas Ignores Court Order to Resume ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy

Policy 'fails to provide the fair process and humanitarian protections that all persons deserve...”'

The Biden administration is once again trying to end former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy despite a court order requiring the government to reimplement it.

Administration officials asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week to vacate an August decision from a federal district court that requires the Biden administration to stick to the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which forces migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. to stay in Mexico while they await their court hearings.

Under “Remain in Mexico,” the U.S. sent more than 70,000 migrants back to Mexico to await asylum hearings.

The Department of Homeland Security was set to implement the program in mid-November, but on Friday officials issued a new 39-page memo saying the administration would once again try to rescind the policy.

“After carefully considering the arguments, evidence, and perspectives presented by those who support re-implementation of [Remain in Mexico], those who support terminating the program, and those who have argued for continuing [Remain in Mexico] in a modified form, I have determined that [Remain in Mexico] should be terminated,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas wrote in the memo, according to the New York Times.

Mayorkas admitted the “Remain in Mexico” policy “reduced migratory flows,” but said it did so “by imposing substantial and unjustifiable human costs on the individuals who were exposed to harm while waiting in Mexico.”

The policy “fails to provide the fair process and humanitarian protections that all persons deserve,” he added.

It is unclear whether Mayorkas intends to simply ignore the standing court order that would force the administration to resume it.

Like the Obama administration’s practice of selective enforcement and prosecution of the law, Biden tested the waters recently with a controversial attempt to bypass court orders that required an end to pandemic eviction moratoriums.

Texas and Missouri sued the Biden administration earlier this year after the first time DHS tried to end the policy, arguing it placed too much responsibility on them to provide government services for migrants.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas agreed, and the Supreme Court later upheld the district court’s ruling.

However, the states accused the Biden administration of not taking the courts’ rulings seriously.

“The crisis at the border continues, in no small part because defendants are not complying in good faith” with the court’s order to restart the program, Texas and Missouri argued. Without the program in place, said the states, thousands of migrants “have reason to think they can freely enter the United States.”

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