A few months after taking office, US President Joe Biden is faced with the thorny issue of migration. While in July a number ” unprecedented “ of migrants tried to reach the United States illegally, the Supreme Court said Tuesday, August 24, that an immigration policy forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their summons must be reinstated.
In the program “Stay in Mexico”, established by former President Donald Trump, tens of thousands of non-Mexican asylum seekers – most of them from Central America – have been sent back across the Mexican border pending the outcome of their claims. Mr Biden’s administration quickly began to dismantle this controversial policy, officially called “Migrant protection protocols” (PPM), and asked the Supreme Court to put the reinstatement of the program on hold.
But in a brief unsigned order, the High Court said that “The request for a stay [était] rejected “. Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said they regretted the move, adding that “While the appeal process continues, however, DHS will comply with the order in good faith”.
Over 200,000 illegal migrants apprehended
Immigrant rights groups also protested the Supreme Court’s order. “The decision of the Scotus (Supreme Court) today, which forces the reestablishment of the policy of “Stay in Mexico”, is nothing less than cruel ”, said Yael Schacher, senior US lawyer at Refugees International, adding that “The Biden administration should not view this decision as a mandate.”
In July, more than 200,000 migrants were apprehended as they attempted to enter the United States illegally through Mexico, a number ” unprecedented “, then estimated the American authorities. “We are facing an unprecedented number of migrants between the entry points of our southern border”, said the US Minister of Internal Security, Alejandro Mayorkas. The increase in the number of deportations during the Covid-19 pandemic partly explains this sharp increase, with many migrants attempting to enter the United States on several occasions, the border guards detail in a press release.
Faced with this influx, the American authorities began in late July to return migrant families by plane to Central America, as part of an accelerated deportation system. Already used by both Republican and Democratic governments, it is one of the only immigration policies retained by the Biden administration. DHS said the families were being returned to their countries of origin – which included Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras – but did not provide details of the number of people deported.