UNITED STATES NEWS

Federal judge blocks Biden bid to end ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy

Dec 16, 2022, 6:31 AM | Updated: 7:12 am

Migrants wait to cross the U.S.-Mexico border from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, next to U.S. Border Patr...

Migrants wait to cross the U.S.-Mexico border from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, next to U.S. Border Patrol vehicles in El Paso, Texas, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked the Biden administration from ending a Trump-era policy requiring asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court. (AP Photo/Christian Chavez, File)

(AP Photo/Christian Chavez, File)

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked the Biden administration from ending a Trump-era policy requiring asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Texas stayed the termination until legal challenges by Texas and Missouri are settled but didn’t order the policy reinstated. The impact on the program wasn’t immediately clear.

“It’s a common sense policy to prevent people from entering our country illegally,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted after the ruling. “Texas wins again, for now.”

The decision comes as El Paso, Texas, and other border cities face a daily influx of migrants that could grow larger if separate asylum restrictions enacted under President Donald Trump end next week as scheduled.

Thursday’s ruling could prove to be a temporary setback for the Biden administration, which may appeal.

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that it disagreed with the ruling and was considering its next steps. It said the government was well within its authority to end the policy.

Under Trump, about 70,000 asylum-seekers were forced to wait in Mexico for U.S. hearings under the policy introduced in January 2019. President Joe Biden — who said it “goes against everything we stand for as a nation of immigrants” — suspended the policy on his first day in office.

That sparked a long and tortured legal and administrative path.

Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee in Amarillo, ordered that the policy be reinstated in 2021. The Biden administration complied with the order after agreeing to changes and additions demanded by Mexico. But it didn’t enforce the policy widely and only a few thousand people were sent back to wait in Mexico.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in June that Biden had the ability to end what technically are known as Migrant Protection Protocols. But it threw back to Kacsmaryk one main issue: determining whether the administration’s action was “arbitrary and capricious” and thus violated federal law for crafting regulations.

In his 35-page ruling, the judge said it was likely an October 2021 memo that was the administration’s latest effort to nail down termination of the policy did indeed appear to violate the law.

Among other things, the administration failed to consider the benefits of the policy, including reducing illegal immigration and “unmeritorious asylum claims,” the ruling said.

Trump made the policy a centerpiece of border enforcement, which critics said was inhumane for exposing migrants to extreme violence in Mexico and making access to attorneys far more difficult.

Kacsmaryk said the Biden administration memo mentioned conditions that migrants might face while in Mexico but not the hardships they face “when making the dangerous journey to the southern border” in the first place.

United States News

FILE - Deborah Moody, an administrative clerk at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Anchora...

Associated Press

Alaska election officials to recalculate signatures for ranked vote repeal measure after court order

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A state court judge on Friday disqualified numerous booklets used to gather signatures for an initiative that aims to repeal Alaska’s ranked choice voting system and gave elections officials a deadline to determine if the measure still had sufficient signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The decision by Superior Court […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

UN approves more transparent procedures for people and entities to get off its sanctions lists

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved more transparent procedures Friday for the hundreds of individuals, companies and other entities who are subject to U.N. sanctions and want to get off the blacklists. The resolution, co-sponsored by Malta and the United States, also authorizes the establishment of a new informal working […]

5 hours ago

FILE - Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee, D-Texas, speaks during a House Judiciary Committee meeting, Dec. 13...

Associated Press

Longtime US Rep Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, who had pancreatic cancer, has died

Longtime U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, who helped lead federal efforts to protect women from domestic violence and recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday, has died. She was 74. Lillie Conley, her chief of staff, confirmed Friday night that Jackson Lee, who had pancreatic cancer, had died. The Democrat had represented her Houston-based […]

6 hours ago

Stools line the bar at Elwood's Liquor and Tap on Thursday, July 18, 2024 in Milwaukee, Wis. This w...

Associated Press

Outside the RNC, small Milwaukee businesses and their regulars tried to salvage a sluggish week

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jay Nelson was standing outside the convenience store he manages in downtown Milwaukee when one of his regular customers walked by on her daily stroll around the neighborhood. “I’ve been telling people to come and buy even just a bottle of wine,” she said, stretching out her arms. “I hope it helps.” […]

6 hours ago

Descendants of Nelson Bell, brothers Milford Fonza, front left, and Elmer Fonza, front right, surro...

Associated Press

In a California gold rush town, some Black families are fighting for land taken from their ancestors

COLOMA, Calif. (AP) — In a tiny town where the California gold rush began, Black families are seeking restitution for land that was taken from their ancestors to make way for a state park now frequented by fourth graders learning about the state’s history. Their efforts in Coloma, a town of around 300 people that’s […]

6 hours ago

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands listening to the verdict in a glass cage of a ...

Associated Press

Russia convicts US journalist of spying in a trial widely seen as politically motivated

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was convicted Friday of espionage and sentenced to 16 years in a maximum-security prison on charges that his employer and the U.S. government have rejected as fabricated.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

Federal judge blocks Biden bid to end ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy