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Supreme Court dismisses suit against 'return to Mexico' policy as moot

By
Don Jacobson
Hundreds of asylum seekers set up tents by the port of entry at El Chaparral Plaza in Tijuana, Mexico, on March 26. File Photo by Ariana Drehsler/UPI
Hundreds of asylum seekers set up tents by the port of entry at El Chaparral Plaza in Tijuana, Mexico, on March 26. File Photo by Ariana Drehsler/UPI | License Photo

June 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dismissed as moot a lawsuit filed against former President Donald Trump's immigration policy that forced tens of thousands of asylum seekers to await their U.S. court dates in Mexico.

In an unsigned order, the high court remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals with instructions to vacate it as moot in light of President Joe Biden's order to terminate the so-called "Remain in Mexico" program this month.

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The justices ruled that an April 2019 injunction granted by the appellate panel blocking the implementation of Trump's Migrant Protection Protocols is now moot, as is a request filed last month by attorneys general in Texas, Missouri and Arizona seeking to intervene in the case.

The suit, known as Mayorkas vs. Innovation Lab Law, targeted the policy that said migrants seeking asylum in the United States were required to stay in Mexico while awaiting a ruling on their application.

Civil rights and immigration advocacy groups sued the Department of Homeland Security over the policy, which they argued subjected both children and adults to serious harm like abduction and rape when they were forced to return to Mexico.

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Biden's administration ended the policy on June 1 after halting its implementation on Biden's first day in office.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the end of the policy and said he'd determined that it doesn't "adequately or sustainably enhance border management" to justify its existence.

Under the policy, border officials directed some 68,000 asylum seekers to return to Mexico.

Asylum seekers wait to enter U.S. in Tijuana

Asylum seekers wait in line for food near El Chaparral plaza in Tijuana, Mexico on March 21. Photo by Ariana Drehsler/UPI | License Photo

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