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Supreme Court considers Trump immigration policy reversal

The Biden v. Texas case involves a policy that made asylum-seekers wait in Mexico until their claims are heard.
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 2:32 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Immigration was front and center at the Supreme Court Tuesday. The case surrounded a Trump-era policy that the Biden administration immediately tried to reverse. The nine justices heard oral arguments in Biden v. Texas. The high-profile case has to do with a Trump policy that made asylum-seekers wait in Mexico until their asylum claims are heard.

Trump instituted the Remain in Mexico program or Migrant Protection Protocol in 2019. President Biden tried to reverse the policy on his first day in office, with immigration advocates saying the policy put asylum-seekers in dangerous situations. Texas and Missouri sued, arguing the reversal by the Biden administration was illegal. Lower courts agreed. The case made its way to the Supreme Court.

“We’re arguing that the Biden administration, just like the rest of us, have to follow federal law. They either have to detain them or send them back to their country of origin,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton (R-Texas).

Justices badgered Paxton’s team on terminology in immigration law with the two sides sparring over whether the administration is legally obligated to send asylum-seekers to Mexico.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) said the Biden administration created a crisis at the border.

“We had a secure border. And the Migrant Protection Protocols and the Remain in Mexico Policy was a big part of that,” said Schmitt.

The Biden administration argued without the capacity to detain every asylum-seeker, releasing those considered not to be a threat into the U.S. on parole is a better option than sending them to dangerous conditions in Mexico.

Attorney Moses Silverman filed a brief to the court in support of the Biden administration conducting its own foreign policy.

“Not letting them in is easy but sending them back is a major diplomatic issue,” said Silverman.

Silverman said the policy requires buy-in from Mexico and that the U.S. cannot simply drop off immigrants there.

He argued this case will not solve immigration policy in the U.S., but it will have ramifications for executive branch policy-making and tens of thousands of immigrants impacted by the policy in question.

“We certainly are at the vanguard of a country that was created by bringing people from all over the world together and creating a national identity,” said Silverman.

An opinion from the court is not expected until late spring or early summer.

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