The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to rule on whether the Department of Homeland Security must maintain a Trump-era policy known as "Remain in Mexico," which President Joe Biden is trying to eliminate.
The administration asked the justices in a court filing to decide whether Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is required to implement a directive issued during the Trump administration that forces thousands of asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico until their U.S. court dates. A federal appeals court twice thwarted the Biden administration's attempts to terminate the policy.
The administration said this month that it would restart the policy after it lost previous court battles.
Biden suspended the policy on his first day in office, pending review, and Mayorkas announced in June that the administration was officially terminating it. Texas and Missouri sued, and a federal judge ruled that the policy had to be reinstated. In August, the Supreme Court denied the Biden administration’s request to pause implementation of the policy.
Mayorkas reissued a memo to terminate the program in October, but a federal appeals court this month rejected the renewed attempt.
"DHS has come nowhere close to shouldering its heavy burden to show that it can make law in a vacuum," the appeals court wrote in a 117-page opinion.
The Trump administration created the policy, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols, in 2019. Critics argue that it denies people the right to seek protection in the U.S. and forces them to wait in dangerous Mexican border cities with higher rates of robbery, kidnapping and assault.