By a narrow 5-4 margin, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday (in Biden v. Texas) that the Biden administration can repeal the Trump administration's Migrant Protection Protocols – commonly known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy – reversing a ruling by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined in the majority opinion with the court's three liberal justices – Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer.
The Trump-era policy required asylum seekers to wait in Mexico until they are granted a hearing in U.S. immigration court. The suit, led by Missouri and Texas, argued the policy is needed to comply with federal law that says migrants cannot be released into the U.S. because the country lacks resources to detain everyone.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, contends the ruling didn't deal with the core issue of why the court case was filed.
"They sent the case back down to the lower court to decide whether if they're not using Remain in Mexico they can be required to detain everybody. That's the real core issue here: Is the administration allowed to just let people go into the United States?" he tells AFN. "And they released a million-plus illegal aliens into the United States – in my opinion – unlawfully, illegally."
And because the real issue hasn't been resolved, Krikorian predicts it will likely come back to the Supreme Court next year.
"And when it gets to that question, I think the Supreme Court is going to rule against the administration," he continues. "So, the administration shouldn't be doing a lot of high fives yet. This is a victory for them – but it's a small, partial victory."
CIS says by ending Remain in Mexico (and continuing to try to end Title 42), the Biden administration is only "supercharging the flow of illegal immigrants" across the U.S.-Mexico border.
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Spencer Raley, director of research at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, says the high court's decision highlights the need for Congress to act.
"Courts cannot be relied on to rein in the Biden administration's relentless flouting of immigration laws. Congress must step forward with needed reforms to stop this historic border crisis," he argues.
"If Republicans take over the House and Senate [in January], they have a mandate to fix this border crisis and [Migrant Protection Protocols] is just where they need to start."
According to Raley, the Remain in Mexico program was one of the most effective things the Trump administration did – but the border situation deteriorated as soon as the program was scaled back by President Joe Biden. The Center for Immigration Studies says census data suggests the illegal-alien population has grown by 1.4 million since Biden took office in January 2021.