Justice Action Center Welcomes Positive Supreme Court Decision on Remain in Mexico in Biden v. Texas

Biden Administration Must Move Swiftly to End Deadly Program


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Biden v. Texas affirming the power of the Biden Administration to end the cruel and inhumane Trump-era Remain in Mexico program (RMX), which has forced tens of thousands of asylum seekers to survive in dangerous makeshift refugee camps while awaiting their asylum hearings. The ruling upholds the right to seek safety, but also the power of the executive branch to enact its own domestic and foreign policies. Now, the Biden Administration must use all legal tools at its disposal to ensure the final end to the Remain in Mexico program comes swiftly.

Today’s Court ruling reversed the Fifth Circuit opinion affirming the district court injunction requiring the Biden Administration to continue the Trump-era Remain in Mexico program. The Court’s ruling finds the Biden Administration had the authority to end Remain in Mexico and rejected the lower court’s extreme interpretation that mandatory detention of asylum seekers was required by law.

“This is a welcome and rare victory that was secured by steadfast organizing and advocacy by the immigrants’ rights movement despite years of attacks on the legal and human right to asylum. And it is the resilience and determined spirit of people fleeing for their lives that has powered this movement,” said Karen Tumlin, Founder and Director of Justice Action Center.

Biden v. Texas has followed a now familiar red state anti-immigrant litigation playbook, in which states attempt to block the Biden Administration from ending harmful Trump policies by filing lawsuits in jurisdictions where they’re likely to be assigned a Trump-appointed judge.  Arizona v. CDC, the case challenging the wind-down of another devastating Trump program that violates the right to asylum called Title 42, is already following in this case’s footsteps. These suits by red states should be seen for what they are: efforts to thwart the will of voters and continue Trump’s hateful anti-immigrant agenda.

“Our hearts are full as we welcome this important decision for immigrants fleeing in search of safety. But we are keenly aware that the same Court that issued this decision today, made us all less safe with its decisions this term, ending the precious safeguard of reproductive freedom, prohibiting life-saving gun control laws, attacking Indigenous sovereignty, and restricting our ability to act on climate change,” Tumlin concluded.

Remain in Mexico harms all people fleeing for their lives, and particularly Black, Indigenous, pregnant, disabled, and LGBTQIA+ migrants who are even more vulnerable to violence while in RMX. That’s why in March, Justice Action Center and RAICES, with pro bono assistance from Sidley Austin LLP, co-authored and submitted this amicus brief to the Supreme Court on behalf of 61 partner organizations, sharing clients’ harrowing stories of kidnapping, assault, rape, trafficking, and extortion experienced while in RMX. The brief also details how RMX promotes de facto family separation, as parents are compelled to send their young children across the border alone in desperate attempts to protect them.

Justice Action Center is a lead partner of the #SafeNotStranded campaign, which includes more than 70 partner organizations working to bring awareness to the human cost of the Remain in Mexico program and the importance of the Biden v. Texas case. Since launching in March of this year, the campaign has submitted an amicus brief in Biden v. Texas, organized events in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and along the U.S.-Mexico border, created educational and storytelling content, and engaged in strategic press work. More can be found on this campaign at SafeNotStranded.org. A petition urging the Biden Administration to use all available tools take immediate action to end RMX once and for all is here.


Tasha Moro
Justice Action Center

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