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A federal judge has ruled that the Biden administration must resume the Trump-era remain in Mexico policy that was ended this year.
The Department of Homeland Security “failed to consider several critical factors” before it got rid of the policy, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who was appointed by Donald Trump, said on Friday, Bloomberg reported.
It’s another setback for President Joe Biden following a January ruling by a different judge in Texas that temporarily blocked the new administration’s plan to pause deportations of undocumented immigrants for 100 days.
Friday’s decision came in a lawsuit filed by the Republican-led states of Texas and Missouri, which claimed the suspension of the program was worsening conditions at the border and allowing criminals to slip into the country.
Biden suspended the so-called Remain in Mexico program the day after he office on Jan. 20., on the grounds that it pushed migrants into squalid and dangerous housing south of the border,
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in June that a review determined the policy “does not adequately or sustainably enhance border management in such a way as to justify the program’s extensive operational burdens and other shortfalls.”
“Over the course of the program, border encounters increased during certain periods and decreased during others. Moreover, in making my assessment, I share the belief that we can only manage migration in an effective, responsible, and durable manner if we approach the issue comprehensively, looking well beyond our own borders,” he wrote.
Judge Kacsmaryk said that the memo fails to mention some of the benefits of the policy, known as MPP.
“At the very least, the Secretary was required to show a reasoned decision for discounting the benefits of MPP. Instead, the June 1 Memorandum does not address the problems created by false claims of asylum or how MPP addressed those problems. Likewise, it does not address the fact that DHS previously found that ‘approximately 9 out of 10 asylum claims from Northern Triangle countries are ultimately found non-meritorious by federal immigration judges,’ and that MPP discouraged such aliens from traveling and attempting to cross the border in the first place,” he said.
Kacsmaryk ordered that the program be resumed, but he did stay his decision for 7 days to allow for the administration to seek relief in an appeals court.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who, along with the state of Missouri, brought the lawsuit, celebrated the decision on Twitter.
“ANOTHER VICTORY! We just won our second immigration lawsuit against the Biden Admin! They unlawfully tried to shut down the legal and effective Remain-in-Mexico program, but #Texas and Missouri wouldn’t have it. Together we sued, and just handed Biden yet another major loss!” the attorney general’s office tweeted.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt also tweeted about the victory against the Biden administration.
“BREAKING: Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt just won a MAJOR immigration lawsuit against the Biden Administration. This evening, a federal court sided with Missouri and Texas and ordered the Biden Admin to REINSTATE the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy. Big win for border security!” his office tweeted.
“On Day 1 Joe Biden illegally reversed President Trump’s Remain In Mexico Policy/ MPP. Since then the #BidenBorderCrisis has been a disaster We sued the Biden Admin & tonight a federal judge ruled in our favor. Huge win for border security & rule of law,” he said.
“We are hopeful for a favorable ruling because it is clear that the Biden administration didn’t consider anything relevant to how it was working or notice and comment, and obviously we have a crisis at the border now,” Schmitt said in a Fox News interview last month. “Anyone who is paying attention knows we have a 21-year high in border crossings, drug traffickers, and human traffickers have been emboldened, and that affects not just Texas but states like Missouri.”