(WASHINGTON) — The Biden administration on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to hear arguments on ending the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy.

The program — formally called the Migrant Protection Protocol — bars asylum seekers from entering the U.S. while immigration courts review their claims. Biden campaigned against the policy, but his administration has hit several legal roadblocks trying to do away with it. Humanitarian organizations have documented high rates of murder, kidnapping and extortion on top of squalid conditions facing those subjected to “Remain in Mexico.”


The program was suspended at the start of the Biden administration, but in August, a federal judge in Texas ordered the administration to resume the protocols after finding the policy change “arbitrary and capricious.”

The Biden administration appealed the ruling, but the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals this month upheld the ruling.

“DHS failed to reasonably consider its own factual findings regarding the benefits of MPP,” the court wrote.


“DHS lacks the resources to detain every alien seeking admission to the United States. That means DHS can’t detain everyone [it] says it “shall” detain. So it’s left with a class of people: aliens it apprehended at the border but whom it lacks the capacity to detain,” they continued.

The Biden administration has acknowledged “Remain in Mexico” likely deterred migrants from coming to the U.S., a concession to Republicans who have cited the temporary repeal of the policy as the driving force behind the record number of arrests at the border. But officials argue the humanitarian consequences outweigh any potential benefits.

In its filing Wednesday, the Biden administration asked for an expedited briefing to allow for arguments in the case in the court’s April sitting.


ABC News’ Quinn Owen and Luke Barr contributed to this report.

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