The US Supreme Court has decided to allow the Biden administration to end a Trump-era immigration policy according to a opinion delivered Thursday by Chief Justice John Roberts. The program officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), often referred to as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, requires migrants arriving at the southern border to remain outside the United States until the system of Slow American immigration processes their asylum hearings. The Biden administration has yet to end the program.
According Human Rights Watch, more than 71,000 asylum seekers had been sent to Mexico under this program from January 2019 to January 2021, including tens of thousands of children and people with disabilities or chronic illnesses. In these camps, vulnerable migrants were frequently victims of rape, kidnapping, torture and murder. Dozens of surveys in human rights violations under the “Remain in Mexico” program were launched.
The Supreme Court issued its ruling days after 53 migrants died of heatstroke and heat exhaustion in an abandoned tractor-trailer outside San Antonio, Texas. This also follows the Court’s 6-3 decision to overturn Roe vs. Wadeenforcing trigger laws across the country that restrict abortion or effectively ban it.
Biden’s campaign promises included vows to reverse Trump’s tough immigration policies, but those words proved performative and flimsy. On the first day of his presidency, he offered to end the “Stay in Mexico” program through a termination note. After a brief period in which the policy was not enforced (evictions reportedly resumed in August, when the Supreme Court refused to block a court decision police reinstatement), a federal appeals court maintained and restored the program in December.
Biden not only complied with the federal court order, but expanded eligibility for deportation to include anyone from Western Hemisphere countries other than Mexico. Under Trump, only people from Spanish-speaking countries and Brazilians could be sent to Mexico. As part of Biden’s expanded reintegration, however, U.S. border officials could turn back Haitian migrants, something that had generally not happened in previous years. In September and October alone, the Biden administration removed or detained thousands of Haitians via Title 42. Thousands of migrants died and suffered human rights abuses due to passive compliance administration. It is important to note that the U.S. intervention has contributed to much of the political instability in Haiti, as well as in all other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, where many of these claimants are from. ‘asylum.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Biden vs. Texas is undoubtedly a welcome reprieve for the continued stream of asylum seekers seeking refuge in the United States. But this decision should not be confused with a progressive immigration policy; it is even below the bare minimum. Even asylum seekers who can wait in the United States are still extremely vulnerable and face enormous challenges, such as seemingly endless wait times for work permits and asylum hearings. one in six asylum seekers await the date of their next hearing. The average wait time is now 1,751 days, or almost five years. These barriers pose enormous challenges, not only to finding work to support herself and her family, but to have some semblance of stability and sanity.
We must not forget the countless other ways the Biden administration and the Supreme Court have continued or exacerbated the oppression of migrants. On Saturday, the Biden administration finished its limits on immigrant arrests to comply with a Texas federal court ruling that essentially gives ICE agents across the United States free rein over which immigrants they should, and should not, detain. Earlier this month in Egbert v. Ball, the Supreme Court made it harder for victims of abuse by Border Patrol agents to receive compensation in court, lowering already treacherously low liability standards for Border Patrol agents and other federal agents law enforcement officials. In the words of Judge Clarence Thomas, no court is ever “competent to authorize an action for damagesagainst Border Patrol agents.
Additionally, recent abortion bans – an attack on the basic human right to health care – will disproportionately affect immigrant women and LGBTQ+ people, as it will be more difficult for these populations to travel out of state for access abortions. The laws will also put them at greater risk of deportation if they decide to take the risk of traveling for these procedures.
Beyond abortion, bodily autonomy has been taken away from marginalized populations by the US government for as long as the country has existed. The United States has a long history of forced sterilizations, targeting black women, people with disabilities and prison populations. The Supreme Court itself was responsible for more than 70,000 forced sterilizations of people with disabilities. Today, immigrants continue to be forcibly sterilized in ICE Detention Centers.
There is massive disillusion within the US government and its institutions; many are realizing that the Democrats, who have had many opportunities to codify deer in the law, are not simply incompetent, but actively complicit in the oppression of the masses. As these institutions continue to offer concessions in an attempt to regain their legitimacy and suppress the class struggle, we cannot wait or count on the political elite of either capitalist party – whose power is based on imperialism, economic warfare and the stratification of workers across borders and racism — to defend the rights of the working class and the oppressed. Neither Republicans nor Democrats represent our interests and have repeatedly shown their reluctance to defend, let alone develop, our basic human rights. And whether or not the Supreme Court deals with marginally “progressive” policies, it remains an undemocratic institution that functions to defend the interests of the ruling class and imperialism. We must say it loud and clear in our communities, in our workplaces and on the streets: abolish the Supreme Court. Let them all in.