Federal judge orders Biden to restore Trump-era stay-in-Mexico asylum policy

Ruling is a major win for border states, which argued the revocation of the policy led to the massive surge of illegal immigration.

Updated: August 14, 2021 - 7:24am

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In a new rebuke to President Biden’s immigration policies, a federal judge has ordered his administration to revive the Trump-era policy requiring immigrants seeking U.S. asylum to remain in Mexico while their requests are reviewed.

The 53-page ruling late Friday by U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk in Amarillo, Texas, handed a victory to border states overrun by the recent migrant surge which saw more than 212,000 illegal aliens apprehended in July.

Kacsmaryk ruled the Homeland  Security Department “failed to consider several critical factors, including the benefits of the remain in Mexico policy” and thus did not follow the law in rescinding the program.

The judge was sharply critical of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, noting he ignored his own agency’s data showing 9 of 10 asylum claims from high-volume countries in the Northern Triangle were frivolous and that ending the policy might create a surge of migrants at the border.

"By ignoring its own previous assessment on the importance of deterring meritless asylum applications without ‘a reasoned analysis for the change,’ defendants acted arbitrarily and capriciously,” Kacsmaryk ruled.

The judge also ruled the revocation of the policy “has contributed to the current border surge" and put unnecessary strain on border and interior states who have been overrun by migrants.

The ruling is the second major setback to the Biden administration‘s immigration policies. A judge earlier this year blocked the President from imposing a 100-day moratorium on deporting illegal aliens.

Texas and Missouri, the two states that sued the Biden administration, hailed the latest judgement ruling as a rebuke to the Biden administration.

“They unlawfully tried to shut down the legal and effective Remain-in-Mexico program, but #Texas and Missouri wouldn’t have it,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted. “Together we sued, and just handed Biden yet another major loss!”

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said the ruling was a “massive win” and ”crucial.”

“Re-implementing the Migrant Protection Protocols will help secure the border and fight the scourge of human trafficking,” he said.