The Supreme Court issued a ruling Wednesday that will allow President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy to continue being enforced while the administration appeals a lower court ruling that struck the policy down, The Hill reported.
The policy requires asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while waiting for their asylum hearings rather than inside the U.S., where many disappear and join the illegal immigrant population, according to a January release from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Most asylum seekers are not admitted into the U.S. after their hearings are held.
The justices voted 8–1 Wednesday to prevent the policy, formally called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), from being rescinded until an appeal is decided. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a Barack Obama appointee, was the only one to dissent, according to The Hill.
A successful policy
Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy has led to a dramatic slowdown of asylum seekers trying to cross the border, according to The Texas Tribune, largely because the main goal of most asylum seekers is to get inside the U.S., where they know they can probably hide out indefinitely and avoid deportation.
But while the policy has been successful in slowing down illegal immigration, detractors have said that asylum seekers are being subjected to violence in Mexican border towns, which are often high crime areas. More than 60,000 asylum seekers have been kept out of the U.S. through the policy, according to The Hill.
A federal court in California ruled in April 2019 that the policy is in violation of current immigration laws and is also inconsistent with international human rights norms, The Hill reported. The 9th Circuit Appeals Court later agreed with the lower court’s ruling, but only for the states of California and Arizona, where it had jurisdiction.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court shot down the 9th Circuit’s order blocking the policy, a decision the White House has praised.
“Today’s order from the Supreme Court is a major victory for the Trump Administration,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. “By allowing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) to remain in effect, the Court has prevented dangerous chaos at the southern border, avoided a significant escalation in public health threats, and mitigated damage to foreign relations.”
If the lower court ruling had been allowed to go forward, tens of thousands of asylum seekers could have flooded the border all at once and overwhelmed Border Patrol.
Battle over immigration continues
President Trump has made progress on curbing illegal immigration into the country despite intense opposition from Democrats. Attempted border crossings have decreased dramatically from a peak in the first half of 2019, according to Pew Research Center, in part because of Trump’s agreements with border countries like Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras that have decreased both the ability and the motivation of people in the region to try to get into the United States.
And whether Democrats like it or not, Trump has every right to enforce the immigration laws of this country. If Democrats want to open up the borders to any and all comers, they need to change the laws through congressional action.
They know this isn’t going to happen and that the public supports the current limits on immigration. But with a loss in November’s presidential election looking more and more likely for the Dems by the minute, they certainly won’t stop trying.