Ahead of news that the Biden Administration is set to reimplement the Migrant Protection Protocols after the Missouri Attorney General’s Office sued and obtained a court order requiring the Biden Administration to reimplement the successful program, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt released the following statement:
“The Biden Administration’s border policies have been nothing short of a disaster, and have emboldened drug and human trafficking at the border and into the interior, including here in Missouri. Amid a worsening border crisis and record-high border crossings, the Biden Administration terminated a successful tool to help quell that crisis. Back in April, we took them to court and obtained a nationwide permanent injunction that both the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court allowed to take effect. Because of our legal action, the Biden Administration is now required to reimplement the program, which is a huge win for border security and national security. My Office will continue to hold the Biden Administration accountable for their failures to address the crisis at the border.”
Back in April 2021, Missouri and Texas filed a lawsuit after the Biden Administration terminated the successful “Remain in Mexico” policy, which was instituted under President Trump. In August, a federal district court issued a nationwide permanent injunction requiring the Biden Administration to reimplement the program. The Fifth Circuit and Supreme Court denied the Biden Administration’s request to stay that injunction. The case is pending appeal in the Fifth Circuit, which held oral arguments in November 2021.
Before the Migrant Protection Protocols were enacted by the Trump Administration, illegal aliens hoping to gain entry into the United States would attempt to “game” the immigration system by traveling from Northern Triangle countries like Guatemala or Honduras through Mexico and claiming asylum in the United States. More often than not, those who made unmeritorious or unsubstantiated claims for asylum were arrested at the border, given a notice to appear, and admitted into the United States. Those who were released into the interior often never showed up to their court dates and disappeared.
Through the Migrant Protection Protocols, migrants who were eligible for the MPP, which was determined by an immigration official at the border, were given a Notice to Appear and were returned to Mexico to await those proceedings. These protocols significantly reduced detention and enforcement burdens on the Department of Homeland Security and others.
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office has also filed a lawsuit seeking to require the Biden Administration to restart the construction of the Southwest border wall using funds already appropriated for that purpose.