U.S. Supreme Court allows Trump administration to return asylum-seekers to Mexico for processing

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled March 11 to allow the Trump administration to have some asylum-seekers wait in Mexico while U.S. officials process their claims. The ruling in _Wolf v. Innovation Law Lab_ allows immigration personnel to follow the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), called the “Remain in Mexico” policy, while challenges to the policy work through the lower courts.

The decision lifted a preliminary injunction issued on April 8, 2019, by Judge Richard Seeborg, an Obama appointee serving on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Seeborg ruled that the remain in Mexico policy violated federal regulatory requirements and federal immigration law.

In the application for a stay of the 2019 injunction, U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued that the remain in Mexico policy “has been an enormously effective and indispensable tool in the United States’ efforts, working cooperatively with Mexico,” to address the large number of people seeking to enter the United States through the Southwest border. He also argued that universal injunctions are improper responses to rules challenged under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The APA is a federal law passed in 1946 establishing uniform procedures for federal agencies to propose and issue regulations.

The temporary hold on the injunction lasts until the case comes before the U.S Supreme Court for a final decision. The order said that Justice Sonia Sotomayor would have denied the government’s request for a stay.

To learn more about the U.S. Supreme Court and the Administrative Procedure Act, see here:
Supreme Court of the United States
Administrative Procedure Act

Additional reading:
Federal policy on immigration, 2017-2020
Timeline of federal policy on immigration, 2017-2020
Richard Seeborg
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Link to the U.S. Supreme Court order granting a stay of injunction:
https://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/031120zr_19m2.pdf

Link to the request for a stay of the 2019 injunction:
https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/19/19A960/137254/20200306100526858_Innovation%20Law%20Lab%20-%20S.Ct.%20Stay%20Application%20-%20FINAL.pdf

Link to the 2019 injunction:
https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000169-fee3-d8fd-a7e9-ffe314940002

Link to Wolf v. Innovation Law Lab docket information:
https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/19/19A960/137254/20200306100540649_Innovation%20Law%20Lab%20Stay%20Application%20Appendix.pdf




About the author

Jace Lington

Jace Lington is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at jace.lington@ballotpedia.org

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