Mexico Could Push Back Against Supreme Court Ruling

Mexico Could Push Back Against Supreme Court Ruling

( – When President Joe Biden took office, one of the first actions he took was to rescind former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. The program required asylum seekers to stay where they came from while awaiting their immigration court date. It was one of the most fundamental policies of the last administration.

Texas and Missouri sued the Biden administration for ending the program. Recently the states prevailed in the Supreme Court. However, that ruling might not be enough to start shipping migrants back to Mexico.


On August 24, the Supreme Court denied the DOJ’s request to stay a ruling by US District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ordering the president to reinstate the policy. The high court ruled the Biden administration failed to take important factors into account when it ended the order. The conservative justices pointed to a precedent they’d set during the Trump presidency when he tried to end the DACA program.

In the 2020 Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of Univ. of Cal. decision, the court ruled the Trump administration didn’t have a “reasoned explanation” for ending the program. The justices determined the president had acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner by not addressing concerns raised about ending the program.

Democrats celebrated the court’s decision last year. Now that the justices are holding the Biden administration to the same standard, they aren’t feeling as gleeful.

Mexican Conundrum

Although the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the US states, the program still might run into problems. The Mexican government is under no obligation to abide by the rulings of any court in the US. Although the countries share a border, they are two sovereign nations.

On August 25, Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department refused to say whether it would begin accepting asylum seekers currently in the US who aren’t Mexican citizens. Roberto Velasco, Mexico’s director for North American affairs, said his country isn’t obligated to follow the rulings of the US courts. However, he told the Associated Press that the nation will begin discussions with the US to “evaluate how to handle safe, orderly and regulated immigration on the border.”

Biden Could Try Again

Even if Mexico agrees to accept non-Mexican asylum seekers, there’s a possibility the program could end anyway. The Supreme Court didn’t rule on the substance of the policy. In fact, just like with DACA, it left open the possibility the administration could try to end it again by providing a fuller explanation. If that happens, it’s likely Texas and Missouri will file lawsuits again to challenge the president.

The bottom line is that although the SCOTUS ruled against Biden, other factors could prevent the re-implementation of the Trump-era policy.

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