AUSTIN (NEXSTAR) — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday the Biden administration can end a Trump-era immigration policy that was at the center of efforts to deter asylum-seekers, forcing some to wait in Mexico. Two conservative justices joined their three liberal colleagues in siding with the White House.
The justices’ decision came in a case involving former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, formally known as Migrant Protection Protocols, which enrolled about 70,000 people after it was launched in 2019.
President Joe Biden suspended the program on his first day in office in January 2021. But lower courts ordered it reinstated in response to a lawsuit from Republican-led Texas and Missouri. The current administration has sent far fewer people back to Mexico than did the Trump administration.
Immigration advocates, such as Ruben Garcia of Annunciation House, are celebrating the ruling.
“Individuals have the right to seek asylum,” he said. “Having them remain in Mexico, then expose them to all kinds of threats, all kinds of dangers.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says the ruling was “wrongly decided” and will “make the border crisis worse.”
While Justices said the Biden administration has the authority to end immigration policies from previous administrations, they left the door open for states such as Texas to challenge whether President Biden followed appropriate procedures to end the policy.