Supreme Court certifies Remain in Mexico ruling, paving pathway to anti-asylum policy’s end

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”Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said shortly after the Supreme Court victory that justices would need to communicate the decision to a lower court, which, in turn, should lift the order to keep the policy in place in a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas,” the Associated Press reports. “Beyond that, administration officials have said little, including whether any of the thousands subject to the policy since December will be allowed to enter and remain in the United States while their cases are being considered in immigration court.”

More than 110 organizations last month asked the Biden administration to take urgent steps to ensure that no further migrants are harmed under Remain in Mexico, officially known as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), saying they stood “ready to support you in bringing this policy to an end once and for all.”

“Anything less than a swift and principled end to Remain in Mexico will undermine the administration’s credibility; set a terrible example for other countries, including those that host the vast majority of the world’s refugees; reward and embolden efforts to stop lawful administration actions; and bolster the unfounded narratives peddled by those seeking to portray people seeking protection as threats to the United States,” they continued.

Schulte similarly argued that until “an orderly, humane system to welcome those seeking refuge” becomes a reality, “we will continue to see not only incredibly harmful policies enacted on those fleeing persecution, but we will see chaos ripe for demagoguery.” Recall there is an active effort to keep another anti-asylum policy, Stephen Miller’s Title 42 order, in place indefinitely. “This is a new chance for the Biden administration—they should and must take it,” Schulte said.

Among asylum-seekers hoping for an end to the policy is a 38-year-old Nicaraguan asylum-seeker who last month described to NBC News being smuggled in a manner horrifying similar to the smuggling tragedy that took the lives of 53 people, including a number of children. The man, who asked to not be identified by name, “said he and more than 100 other migrants were left to ‘suffocate’ in a large container and abandoned by the coyotes smuggling them,” NBC News said. 

Asylum-seekers are also being sent to Mexican border cities that officials at the State Department acknowledge are dangerous. “The stories from my clients, I mean, they’re being raped, they’re being kidnapped, they’re being robbed, they’re being threatened, extorted,” Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services attorney Marysol Castro told NBC News.

“With the Supreme Court’s certified judgment, President Biden has no more excuses,” said Tami Goodlette, director of litigation at Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), in a statement received by Daily Kos. “He can either put an end to the cruel and immoral Remain in Mexico policy immediately, or claim the toxic, white supremacist legacy of the Trump era as his own.”

”The White House and Homeland Security Department had no immediate comment on the Supreme Court certification; the Justice Department declined comment,” said the Associated Press. “Officials in Mexico had no immediate comment.” On Tuesday, U.S. officials said they “remain bound by the district court’s order to continue to implement MPP. We remain steadfast in our position that MPP causes untold harm and that DHS properly terminated the program,” CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez tweeted.

“Biden administration can drop ‘remain in Mexico’ policy, but what will it use instead,” one headline last month questioned. This is simply uninformed. Goodlette: “Seeking safety is a human right and RAICES and communities across the border are ready to welcome people seeking asylum to our communities once Remain in Mexico and Title 42 come to an end. People seek asylum because their lives, and the lives of their children depend on it. Restoring a fair asylum process will help keep people safe and families together. It’s time for President Biden to deliver.”


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