Judges hear battle over ‘Stay in Mexico’ asylum policy – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

The Biden administration is seeking the Supreme Court’s green light to end a controversial Trump-era immigration program that is forcing some people seeking asylum in the United States to wait in Mexico for their hearings.

Judges on Tuesday heard arguments in the administration’s appeal of lower court decisions requiring immigration officials to reintroduce the “Stay in Mexico” policy, which the administration “has twice stated is not in the U.S. interest,” according to court documents.

Texas and Missouri, which sued to keep the program in place, said it has helped reduce the flow of people to the United States at the southern border. “Many are raising worthless immigration claims, including asylum applications, in the hope that they will be released in the United States,” the states told the Supreme Court in a case.

About 70,000 people signed up for the program, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, after President Donald Trump launched it in 2019, making it a key element in efforts to deter asylum seekers.

President Joe Biden suspended it on his first day in office, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas ended it in June 2021. In October, DHS provided further justification for the lapse of the policy, without helping the courts.

The program resumed in December, but nearly 3,000 migrants had signed up by the end of March, during a period when authorities stopped migrants about 700,000 times at the border.

The heart of the legal battle is whether the program is discretionary and can be terminated, as the administration claims, or whether it is essentially the only way to comply with what the states say is a congressional order not to release the immigrants referred to in the case. The United States.

Without adequate detention facilities in the United States, Texas and Missouri argue that the administration’s only option is to make immigrants wait in Mexico for their asylum hearings.

The two sides disagree on whether the way the administration went about concluding the policy is in line with a federal law that forces agencies to follow rules and clarify the reasons for their actions.

Those who are forced to wait in Mexico say to a large extent that they are terrified in dangerous Mexican border towns and find it very difficult to find lawyers to handle their asylum hearings.

Democratic-led states and progressive groups are on the side of the administration. Republican-led states and conservative groups have sided with Texas and Missouri. These include the America First Legal Foundation, led by former Trump assistants Stephen Miller and Mark Meadows.

While the court weighs the asylum policy, the administration is expected to end another central Trump-era border policy that was introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic. It allows the authorities to deport migrants without the possibility of seeking asylum. The decision to end the title 42 authority, named after a 1944 public health law, on May 23 is legally challenged by 22 states and faces growing divisions within Biden’s Democratic Party.

One of President Biden’s first actions in connection with the inauguration of the White House was to begin dismantling the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as its “Stay in Mexico” policy. NBCLX contributors Martin Markovits and Alex Luchsinger traveled to Mexico to see the experience through the eyes of two women seeking asylum in the United States

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