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MPP Court Ruling Underscores Congress’ Ultimate Failure to Pass Immigration Reform

Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Theresa Cardinal Brown, managing director of immigration and cross-border policy for the Bipartisan Policy Center, in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Texas v. Biden on the Migrant Protection Protocols:  

“Today the Supreme Court handed the Biden administration, and future administrations of either party, a victory in ruling that the Migrant Protection Protocols, also called ‘Remain in Mexico,’ could be ended. In its ruling, the majority of justices strongly denied the interpretation of the lower court and the states that sued that the immigration laws mandate either detention or return across the border for migrants seeking asylum or that courts could force the government to engage in policies so directly reliant on foreign governments. The court also ruled that a lower court did not have authority to issue an injunction against an exercise of enforcement authority by the administration, rendering the latest actions of DHS to end the program final and able to be carried out. However, the justices returned part of the case to the lower court to determine if the memorandum ending the program violated the Administrative Procedure Act. 

“This decision has significant implications on the continued litigation over immigration enforcement policies enacted by administrations of both parties and might curtail some of the drastic policy changes such litigation has created. Continued litigation over federal policy has undermined the reasonable functioning of our immigration system and the ability of the executive branch to create and implement policies to manage migration at the border. Judges are not border or immigration experts and should not be making policy for the United States on these matters, and yet, they have increasingly done so.  

“However, the ultimate responsibility in these matters falls on Congress, which has repeatedly failed to work together on legislation that could provide clarity to increasingly incoherent and oppositional judicial decisions. The only way to effectively manage our borders, fix a broken legal immigration system, and deal humanely with the millions of immigrants who have managed to make their home in the United States over the years, is for Congress to finally pass immigration reform.”