Appeals Court allows ‘stay in Mexico’ policy to continue blocking migrants at border


LOS ANGELES — While insisting that a policy that forced 60,000 asylum seekers to wait in Mexico violates U.S. law, a federal appeals court on Wednesday granted the administration’s request Trump to keep “Remain in Mexico” restrictions in place until March 11 for Supreme Court review.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed its ruling last week that the policy violates both U.S. law and international law, saying the policy causes “extreme and irreversible harm.”

However, the court temporarily suspended its injunction against enforcing so-called migrant protection protocols after the government warned the order could spur thousands of migrants trying to enter the country and overwhelm the country. southwestern border.

If the Supreme Court does not grant the government’s request to appeal the Ninth Circuit’s injunction, the appeals court’s initial ruling will take effect March 12, but only in border states under its jurisdiction. California and Arizona.

If the High Court agrees to hear the case and grant another emergency stay, the policy, which has been in place since January 2019, could remain in place for the foreseeable future.

“It is very likely that the Supreme Court will grant the administration’s request to halt the Ninth Circuit’s original decision to suspend the policy,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration at Cornell Law School.

Lawyers for the Justice Department have requested an extension of the stay of the appeals court’s ruling, arguing that there would most likely be a ‘rush to the southern border’ by migrants waiting in Mexico as part of the program. Such an influx would create “massive and irreparable national security and public safety problems”, they said, as border authorities lacked sufficient detention space to house thousands of new migrants.

In response to the government’s request for a stay, lawyers challenging the policy had said the original decision did not require the government to immediately allow the readmission of all asylum seekers subject to the policy. The injunction contemplates an “orderly conduct” of the program, they wrote in court documents.

On Wednesday, plaintiffs’ attorneys said they would continue to seek termination of the policy.

“This illegal policy has been in place for more than a year,” said Judy Rabinovitz, senior counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrant Rights Project, which argued the case. “Every day, people are put in danger. We will continue to fight until he is definitely stopped.

Karen Musalo, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, who is also part of the legal team, said: “On behalf of the desperate asylum seekers sent back to Mexico, we welcome the court’s unequivocal conclusion that MPP is illegal, and that it causes extreme suffering and harm to those subjected to it.

Since the implementation of the “Remain in Mexico” policy in January 2019, many of the estimated 60,000 migrants forced to wait in Mexican border towns for their immigration hearings have been victims of sexual assaults, kidnappings and torture. On the Mexican side of the border, thousands of families are crammed into tent camps, where unsanitary conditions and exposure to the elements have brought disease.

Trump administration officials called the policy a success and credited it with stemming the “uncontrolled flow” of migrants, which had arrived in large numbers last year, mostly from Central America.

The Supreme Court recently overturned numerous temporary injunctions issued by lower courts against the administration’s tough new immigration policies.

In January, the High Court cleared the administration to move forward with a rule denying lawful permanent residence to immigrants deemed likely to need government assistance in the future.

In late 2019, the administration won another significant victory when the Supreme Court allowed it to temporarily continue to enforce a policy that bars most migrants from seeking asylum if they had transited through another country, such as the United States. Mexico, unless they have already been denied asylum there. The Supreme Court acted after a ruling ordering a halt to the policy by a California federal judge.


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