The Biden administration has been repeatedly ordered by courts to continue enforcing the Trump-era Remain in Mexico policy for illegal migrants, but its own records show it has willfully thumbed its nose at those rulings as it waits for a final crack at the Supreme Court.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency data reviewed by Just the News shows just 199 of the 221,303 illegal aliens stopped by federal agents in March were placed into the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), the formal name of the Remain in Mexico policy.
The CBP press office in Washington did not respond to multiple phone calls and emails seeking comment Wednesday. But a senior U.S. Homeland Security official confirmed the 199 figure was accurate for March.
That amounts to a miniscule 0.09% of participation in MPP, an enforcement percentage border experts say makes a mockery of the courts' orders.
"They only enrolled a couple hundred in the Remain in Mexico while they apprehended 221,000," former CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told Just the News on Monday. He added that the Biden administration, even when it enforces the regulation, is not applying it to the loophole it was designed to close: migrant groups posing as fake family units.
"They're not even applying the Remain in Mexico program to the demographics it was designed to address," he said. "It's all a joke."
Both federal district and appeals judges have ordered the administration to keep enforcing the policy as a larger legal challenge is considered by the U.S. Supreme Court. Even the nation's nine justices refused to impose an injunction blocking the policy while they considered the case.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, whose initial lawsuit led to the rulings, said the Biden administration's March performance is proof it is ignoring the courts' authority.
"They are not willing to comply with the law," Paxton said. "... The reality is we've had wins on Remain in Mexico on preliminary injunctions. They're supposed to be enforcing it."
He added that the biggest winners from the failure to enforce the policy are the Mexican drug cartels, which are earning as much as $10,000 for each illegal migrant they help traffic.
"The cartels are basically in business with the Biden administration," he told the Just the News TV program on Wednesday.
"The message has been sent to them: Bring as many as you can, and we'll do the handoff. And these people coming across, they're not running from the agents, they're running to the agents to be transferred to the agents, and then the handoff can take place, and they can be sent all around the country."
The Supreme Court once before upheld the legality of the Remain in Mexico policy under Trump. Arguments are slated for next Tuesday, and a ruling is expected by the end of June.
If the high court upholds the regulation again, the nation could face a constitutional crisis if Biden refuses to follow the justices' instructions, Paxton said.
"We're going to be in the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to get a final say on the merits of the case," he said. "I'm hopeful that we're going to win. And two, if we do, we're not in a constitutional crisis wondering why the president of the United States not only ignores federal law, but then ignore federal court orders."
Meanwhile, Border Patrol agents are demoralized and defeated, feeling that they are not being allowed to enforce the law and instead are helping assist illegal aliens to move to the interior of the United States, their former boss Morgan said.
"A 26-year veteran I talked with, he is getting up every single day putting the badge on his chest and heading on the front line to protect our nation's border," Morgan said. "He said one day he was getting dressed, as he always does, looked in the mirror making sure his uniform was squared away as most Border Patrol agents do, and he said it kind of hit him.
"It came just like, just rushed over. And when he looked in the mirror ... he said, 'You know, I realized I'm actually part of the largest federal smuggling organization in the world.'"