Reformers: GOP Agenda Must Include Requiring ‘Remain in Mexico’ at Border

by JOHN BINDER 30 Jun 2022

A ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) that allows President Joe Biden to end the “Remain in Mexico” program at the southern border underscores the need for Congress to codify the policy into federal statute, reformers say.

First implemented in 2019 by former President Trump, the Remain in Mexico program allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to quickly return border crossers to Mexico while they await their asylum and immigration hearings in the United States — effectively eliminating the practice commonly known as “Catch and Release.”

On Thursday, SCOTUS ruled that the Biden administration can end Remain in Mexico but kicked the case back to a lower court to decide whether the administration properly ended the program in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

That court must also review whether the Biden administration is following federal immigration law by releasing tens of thousands of border crossers and illegal aliens into the U.S. interior every month instead of detaining them.

Since Biden took office, over a million border crossers and illegal aliens have been released into the U.S. interior. This is a foreign population twice the size of Wyoming.

Reformers say the ruling speaks to a larger picture, that Republicans must vow and implement Remain in Mexico at the border if they take back the House and Senate in this year’s midterm elections and later in 2024.

Officials with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) said:

Today’s Supreme Court ruling highlights the need for Congressional action to mandate [Remain in Mexico] and secure our southern border. Courts cannot be relied on to reign in the Biden administration’s relentless flouting of immigration laws. Congress must step forward with needed reforms to stop this historic border crisis.

Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA said in a statement that the ruling is a “disappointment” because it ignores “the fact that immigration law gives the government three choices when it comes to inadmissible aliens and asylum seekers.”

Those choices include detaining border crossers and illegal aliens while they await their hearings, returning them to Mexico, or paroling them on a case-by-case basis into the U.S. interior.

“That the majority allows the government to pick a fourth option — mass release into the United States — enables the Biden administration’s non-enforcement of immigration law,” Jenks said.

Former Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Thomas Homan, a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation, called the ruling “a defeat for border security, for the rule of law, and for common sense.”

“Policies like Remain in Mexico and Title 42 are the last seawalls holding back a crushing tidal wave,” Homan said. “The Supreme Court’s ruling tosses aside that carefully considered legal analysis.”

“The Supreme Court was wrong to let the Biden administration off the hook for its reckless actions,” he continued. “Now, it’s up to Congress to do its part to secure our borders, fix the Biden border crisis, and reduce illegal immigration. If they don’t, we are looking at several more years of open borders under Joe Biden.”

Reformers: GOP Agenda Must Include Requiring 'Remain in Mexico' (