The Biden administration on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether to uphold the Trump-era “Stay in Mexico” policy.
Why is it important: President Biden was forced by a court order this month to restart the controversial program, which forces asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for US court hearings. The administration is looking to end the program, again, according to Axios’ Stef Kight.
Driving the news: The Ministry of Justice Supreme Court Filing asks judges to rule on whether Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is required to implement the directive, which is officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPPs).
- He also asks whether the appeals court “erred” in concluding that Mayorkas’ decision to end the MPP had no legal effect.
- “In short, the lower courts ordered DHS to implement and enforce the controversial and short-lived MPP program in perpetuity,” Justice Department attorneys wrote.
The big picture: The Biden administration first tried to end the program in June, but a U.S. district judge in Texas ordered it to restart the MPP in August, arguing that the White House improperly ended the program. The decision was upheld by the Supreme Court.
- Mayorkas issued a memo in October announcing the Department of Homeland Security’s intention to terminate the MPP, only to be blocked by a federal appeals court.
- The resumption of the MPP this month saw several humanitarian changes, including a policy to offer all migrants COVID-19 vaccines before being sent back to Mexico.