Trump-era ‘Remain-in-Mexico’ Legislation to be Challenged at Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court agreed to hear the Biden administration’s case in its efforts to eliminate the “Remain in Mexico” program.

This is a crucial, Trump-era immigration control that the Biden administration repealed, but was then pushed to re-establish as a result of a court decision.


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Rebuttals in the appeal are scheduled to begin in the second week of April.

A decision on whether or not the Biden presidency can end the legislation, which sees migrants deported to Mexico for their immigration proceedings, rather than being released into the United States’ interior, is anticipated by late June.

Court Order

A fundamental element of the Trump administration’s attempts to reduce the “pull factors” that attract migrants to the United States was the initiative; it was started in 2019 and later extended in response to that year’s border crisis. 

Proponents claimed the scheme, which included the installation of court tents in strategic locations along the border, reintroduced discipline to the asylum process and served to deter unlawful migration. 

Critics of the program said it was inhumane and migrants who camped out in Mexico were put in jeopardy of violence and abduction because of it.

After taking office, the Biden administration tried to repeal the program, but a federal court ruled the administration had done so in violation of the law and ordered it to be reinstated.


Following an appeal, the Supreme Court upheld the decision; the program was re-launched in late December. It has now been enlarged to include the Rio Grande Valley Sector, which was added in January. 

Analysis and Findings

As a result, the administration has grudgingly re-established the program in accordance with the order, but also sent a document in October, requesting the program be legally terminated after doing the necessary analysis.

In an October memo, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated the MPP “likely helped to decrease migrant flows.”

Even so, Mayorkas stated while the program is still in compliance with the court order, he has performed an analysis to determine whether it should be maintained, modified, or neglected.

This comes as well as claims the court found were not adequately addressed, such as the program’s impact on border crossings.

While acknowledging the MPP has reduced border crossings, he writes in the memo that the program “should be stopped” because of his findings.

An increasing number of immigration activists are pressing the Biden administration to terminate the program, while Republicans have cautioned that terminating it will merely exacerbate the ongoing situation along America’s southern border.

This week, Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) if the October memorandum is subject to the Congressional Review Act, which would let Congress vote to stop the administration from ending the program.