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US Supreme Court to consider repealing Trump-era border policy

Since taking office in January 2021, Joe Biden has pledged a more humane immigration policy and sought to dismantle the 'Remain in Mexico' program

AP file
AP file


Published: Sat 19 Feb 2022, 8:51 AM

The US Supreme Court agreed on Friday to consider whether President Joe Biden can end a controversial Trump-era border policy that denies asylum-seekers entry to the United States while their case is reviewed.

The Democratic president’s administration in December asked the conservative-leaning high court to review decisions made by appeals courts that left in place the migration program implemented in 2019 by the previous government.

Under then-president Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” program, tens of thousands of non-Mexican asylum seekers — mostly from Central America — were sent back over the border pending the outcome of their applications.

Since taking office in January 2021, Biden has pledged a more humane immigration policy and sought to dismantle the program, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

Those efforts have faced setbacks in the US court system, with an appeals court ruling in December that the program should continue.

The Justice Department argued the program “exposes migrants to unacceptable” risks and the previous court decisions were based on “erroneous interpretations” of the law, in its request to the Supreme Court to review the case.


The Supreme Court is expected to consider the case as early as April, according to court documents seen by AFP, while a decision is expected in the summer.

Between January 2019 and December 2020, at least 70,000 asylum seekers, most of them from Central America, were returned to Mexico under the program, triggering a humanitarian crisis that was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the American Immigration Council.

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