Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Biden From Ending ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy

On Thursday, a federal judge in the United States ruled that the “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, must stay in place while legal challenges continue, according to The Hill.

The policy, which was implemented by the Trump administration in 2019, requires asylum seekers – including those not from Mexico – to wait in Mexico for their cases to be heard.

Joe Biden had sought to end the policy, which had resulted in over 70,000 asylum seekers being sent to Mexico from the United States, upon taking office. However, Texas and Missouri filed legal action to prevent Biden from ending the policy, leading to a delay in its repeal.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that Biden could end the policy and had not violated federal immigration law in trying to do so.

However, the case was returned to lower courts for further proceedings, with U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of Texas tasked with determining whether the administration’s action was “arbitrary and capricious” in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Judge Kacsmaryk, who was appointed by Trump, ruled that Texas had met the requirements for a preliminary injunction to be issued, including the likelihood of success on the merits of the argument, the likelihood of irreparable harm, the balance of equities tipping in favor of the plaintiff, and the public interest being in favor of the injunction.

Kacsmaryk also found that the Biden administration had failed to adequately consider several factors, including the “key benefits” of the policy such as the reduction of asylum claims without merit, and the costs and reliance interests of states in federal immigration policy.

The “Remain in Mexico” policy is separate from another Trump-era immigration policy called Title 42, which allows the federal government to deny asylum to migrants due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus within the U.S.

The Biden administration has maintained the Title 42 policy, but it was struck down by a federal judge last month and is set to expire next week.

“It’s a common sense policy to prevent people from entering our country illegally,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) tweeted after the ruling. “Texas wins again, for now.”