Conservative justices on the Supreme Court handed the Trump administration a win as a key immigration policy was given the OK to continue.
The “Remain in Mexico” policy had taken a lot of pressure off the southern border, where those seeking asylum have to wait in Mexico for their cases to be adjudicated. The Ninth Circuit Court issued an injunction against the policy last week with a deadline of tomorrow for the stay to start.
But the Trump administration sought immediate relief, citing “national security.” Indeed, about 20,000 asylum-seekers had gathered at various crossing points on the border, looking to rush the guards and force their way through. The White House dispatched about 160 military personnel to protect Border Patrol agents.
The Supreme Court agreed with the administration and will allow the policy to continue.
“The application for stay presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court is granted, and the district court’s April 8, 2019 order granting a preliminary injunction is stayed pending the timely filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari,” the Supreme Court said in an order, which noted that Justice Sonia Sotomayor opposed the Trump administration’s stay application.
The high court action came a day before the lower court order was to have taken effect. Instead, the “Remain in Mexico” policy will remain in force while a lawsuit challenging it plays out in the courts.
The Justice Department responded Wednesday by saying the high court’s order restores “the government’s ability to manage the Southwest border and to work cooperatively with the Mexican government to address illegal immigration.”
The Supreme Court did not give any legal opinion about the viability of the policy, only that the administration won the argument that it was a matter of national import.
Open borders advocates aren’t giving up.
“The Court of Appeals unequivocally declared this policy to be illegal. The Supreme Court should as well,” said Judy Rabinovitz, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who represents asylum-seekers and immigrant advocacy groups in the case. “Asylum-seekers face grave danger and irreversible harm every day this depraved policy remains in effect.”
The administration had argued that thousands of immigrants would rush the border if the high court didn’t step in.
About 60,000 asylum seekers are waiting in Mexico for their cases to be heard.