President Joe Biden entered office in January with a clear objective to roll back his predecessor’s tough immigration policies — including the so-called “Remain in Mexico” program.
The Department of Homeland Security has unsuccessfully attempted to cancel the policy requiring asylum-seekers to await a decision south of the U.S.–Mexico border, and the Biden administration recently submitted a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court requesting a swift resolution of the dispute.
The ongoing court challenge
According to CBS News, the White House went so far as to set specific dates by which it insists arguments should be heard in the case.
Should the court agree to those terms, justices will be tasked with considering whether lower court rulings incorrectly ordered the administration to reinstate the Trump-era program formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
Former President Donald Trump first launched the requirement in 2019 and his successor wasted no time suspending it by executive order upon taking office. Biden issued an official cancelation in June via a memo to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
That effort sparked a lawsuit from officials in Texas and Missouri.
In August, a district court ruled in favor of the states and ordered the DHS to reinstate the protocols, determining that Mayorkas had not sufficiently explained the cancelation and acted in violation of certain existing immigration statutes.
“No longer in the best interests”
The Biden administration appealed and Mayorkas issued a more detailed memo in October to explain the order.
Nevertheless, a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled against the administration earlier this month, rejecting the latest memo and upholding the lower court’s order to reimplement the MPP.
As for the current appeal for Supreme Court intervention, an attorney for the federal government argued: “In short, the lower courts have commanded DHS to implement and enforce the short-lived and controversial MPP program in perpetuity.”
The Biden administration’s petition seeks a rapid resolution, insisting that postponement until the court’s upcoming term would require the government “to continue negotiating with Mexico to maintain a controversial program that it has already twice determined is no longer in the best interests of the United States.”
As such, the Biden administration has urged the Supreme Court to consider the case in February and schedule oral arguments for April, allowing for a decision to be rendered by next summer.