Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that his office, along with the Texas Attorney General’s Office have prevailed in their lawsuit against the Biden Administration over President Biden’s cancellation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), or “Remain in Mexico” policy.
A federal court in northern Texas, where the case was filed, issued a nationwide permanent injunction, reversing Biden’s cancellation of the MPP and requiring the Biden Administration to re-implement MPP.
“In April, along with my colleague from Texas, I filed suit to halt Joe Biden’s suspension of the successful Migrant Protection Protocols or ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy. In a huge win for the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and in a big step towards securing the border, a federal court issued a nationwide permanent injunction, reversing the Biden Administration’s suspension of the program and ordering the Biden Administration to reimplement the program,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “My Office has been leading the way nationally in fighting human trafficking, and the Biden Administration’s lax border policies increase the risk for human trafficking at the border and, in turn, in Missouri. This massive win was crucial – re-implementing the Migrant Protection Protocols will help secure the border and fight the scourge of human trafficking.”
Aimed at reducing a key incentive to illegal immigration – the ability to stay in the United States during immigration proceedings, even without valid claims to asylum – the Migrant Protection Protocols were implemented by President Trump in 2018 and related to migrants who have no legal entitlement to enter the United States but who depart from a third country and transit through Mexico to reach the United States land border.
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 a third country like Guatemala or Nicaragua 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.
On January 20, 2021, President Biden suspended the Migrant Protection Protocols in a two-sentence memo. This order completely vacated that memo.
Concerned about the impact that a surge in illegal immigration could mean for the exacerbation of human trafficking at the border and in Missouri, the Missouri and Texas attorneys general filed suit in April 2021 to halt Biden’s suspension and secure the Southern border. A hearing in the case was held on July 22nd, and earlier on Friday, Judge Kacsmaryk issued a nationwide permanent injunction, halting the Biden Administration’s suspension of the MPP and ordering them to reinstate the program.
The order states that the Department of Homeland Security found MPP to be effective and the cancellation of MPP has led to continued illegal immigration issues and harm to plaintiff states Missouri and Texas.
The full judgment can be found here.