US Supreme Court rules Biden to resume Trump-era immigration policy

WASHINGTON — The US Supreme Court on Tuesday denied President Joe Biden’s appeal to dissolve an immigration policy implemented by his predecessor Donald Trump, which forced thousands of asylum seekers to remain in Mexico awaiting US hearings.

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The court rejected, 6-3, the Biden administration’s effort to block a Texas judge’s ruling demanding Washington resume Trump’s “stay in Mexico” policy, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols program. (MPP).

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The Supreme Court’s conservative majority includes three judges appointed by Trump.

The court’s decision was based on its 2020 ruling that thwarted Trump’s attempt to end a program introduced by former President Barack Obama that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants who illegally entered the US as children — the “dreamers” from deportation.

In both cases, the Supreme Court considered whether the government followed the correct legal process in undoing a previous government’s policy.

Biden, who since taking office in January has sought to reverse many of Trump’s hardline immigration policies, has suspended the MPP program. But the Republican-led states of Texas and Missouri challenged the Democratic president’s decision.

Washignton appealed to the Supreme Court after Kacsmaryk ruled that the Trump policy should be reinstated and the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, on Aug. 19 denied the government’s request for a postponement.

The 5th Circuit’s decision said the Biden government must implement the MPP’s “good faith” program, which leaves the government some leeway on how to move forward.

Democrats and immigration advocates criticized the MPP, saying the policy subjected migrants, mainly from Central America, to dangerous conditions in Mexican border towns.

Arrests of migrants crossing the US southern border have reached a 20-year high in recent months, and Republicans attribute that increase to the Biden reversal of MPP and other immigration policies by Trump.

This month, the White House backtracked and decided to keep in place a controversial public health measure inherited from Trump that allowed the country to summarily evict hundreds of thousands of immigrants in recent months amid the pandemic.