The United States Supreme Court has ruled that President Joe Biden cannot end the Trump-era “stay in Mexico” policy, which required migrants to wait for immigration procedures outside the States. United, calling its earlier attempt to do so “arbitrary”.

In a brief opinion on Tuesday, the court determined that the federal government could not legally end the immigration rule, first implemented under President Donald Trump in 2019, upholding an earlier ruling by a judge federal government of Texas. Three liberal judges – Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, opposed the decision.

Besides the dissenters, the judges said Biden’s attempt to repeal the immigration rule in June was “arbitrary and capricious,” preventing him from going through with the move.

Ironically, the court cited a 2020 ruling that banned Trump from ending an Obama-era policy – the Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA – as saying Trump broke the rules. established procedures for such policy changes. This same reasoning is now applied to Biden, who has pledged to revise virtually all immigration policies implemented under his predecessor.

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In response to the ruling, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it “regrets that the Supreme Court refused to issue a stay,” vowing to fight the ruling while saying it would comply for the instant.

“DHS has appealed the district court order and will continue to vigorously challenge it. However, as the appeal process continues, DHS will comply with the order in good faith, ”the agency said.

Formally known as the “Migrant Protection Protocols,” the “Stay in Mexico” rule was initially suspended in January when Biden first took office, and was subsequently repealed in June. The rule applies to any migrant who has left a third country and traveled to the US border via Mexico, and has barred tens of thousands of asylum or citizenship seekers from entering the United States by awaiting official procedures.

Biden’s DHS said in June it would allow migrants turned back from the border under this policy to try again in the United States, although the fate of those people is again in limbo following Tuesday’s SCOTUS decision.

In Texas alone, some 32,000 migrants were refused entry while the rule was in effect, according to data compiled by Syracuse University. Many have been dismissed after being unable to show up for their court dates on the US side of the border due to politics, leaving them in dire straits.

U.S. officials have previously said they were unsure how many migrants would reapply for asylum after the rule was initially – and temporarily – abolished earlier this summer, but experts at the organization International for Migration have suggested it could have been up to 10,000.

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