The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Joe Biden did not violate immigration law when the administration put an end to the Trump-era policy that allowed migrants to be sent back to Mexico to await immigration proceedings.

The 5-4 ruling in favor of the Biden administration move comes just days after a semi-truck full of migrants was found abandoned near San Antonio with 53 dead inside.

The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) was put in place by Donald Trump to help quell the build up of migrants at the border and throughout the country as they were released pending immigration hearings.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Thursday in favor of the Biden administration ending the Trump-era  Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)

Two conservative justices sided with the three liberals for a decision favorable to the Biden administration's efforts to end MPP.  Top row from L-R: Conservative Justice Brett Kvanaugh, liberal Justice Elena Kagan, conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Bottom row from L-R: Conservative Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts and liberal Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor

Two conservative justices sided with the three liberals for a decision favorable to the Biden administration’s efforts to end MPP.  Top row from L-R: Conservative Justice Brett Kvanaugh, liberal Justice Elena Kagan, conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Bottom row from L-R: Conservative Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts and liberal Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor

The ruling come as Republicans and Democrats started the blame game after an abandoned semi-truck was found on the side of the road outside San Antonio, Texas Monday evening with dozens of migrants deceased or in critical condition in an apparent smuggling attempt

The ruling come as Republicans and Democrats started the blame game after an abandoned semi-truck was found on the side of the road outside San Antonio, Texas Monday evening with dozens of migrants deceased or in critical condition in an apparent smuggling attempt

Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, delivered the opinion taking the Biden administration’s side – he was joined by all three liberal justices as well as fellow conservative Brett Kavanuagh.

The dissenting opinion was written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito and was joined by the remaining conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett.

Republicans immediately lashed out at the move, claiming an end to MPP will lead to an increase in illegally crossings, drug trafficking and deadly human smuggling – including the incident on Monday where 53 migrants died in the back of a sweltering tractor trailer.

Indiana GOP senator Mike Braun said that the Remain in Mexico policy worked to reduce the surge at the southern border. He specifically pointed to efficacy of stopping Northern Triangle migrants from illegally crossing.

‘From day one, President Biden has tried to remove every tool we have to stop this chaos, hanging a ‘WELCOME’ sign on our southern border,’ Braun tweeted following the ruling on Thursday.

‘The result is more illegal border crossings, more deadly fentanyl on our streets, and more horrible humanitarian tragedies like the 50 migrants who died being smuggled across the border in a semi,’ he added.

‘We need Remain in Mexico for a secure border.’

Arizona Representative Andy Biggs, a border state lawmaker and huge Trump ally, said: ‘Terminating ‘Remain in Mexico’ will only make the crisis worse.’

‘Just because the Court says you can doesn’t mean you should,’ he added in an urge for the administration not to act on the ruling.

The migration crisis continues to surge under the current administration as CBP encountered 239,416 migrants in May – the highest since Biden took office

The migration crisis continues to surge under the current administration as CBP encountered 239,416 migrants in May – the highest since Biden took office

Timeline of Migrant Protection Protocols 

The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) required DHS to send asylum-seekers back to Mexico to await their immigration proceedings in the U.S. rather than detaining them or releasing them into the country. 

January 2019: Donald Trump’s administration enacts MPP. 

February 11, 2021: Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces the beginning of the process to dismantle MPP, more commonly referred to as the Remain in Mexico policy.

June 1, 2021: DHS ​​Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issues a memo terminating MPP.

August 13, 2021: A federal judge in Texas ordered the resumption of MPP in Biden v. Texas, determining the June memo did not comply with the Administrative Procedure Act. It ordered DHS to ‘enforce and implement MPP in good faith.’

August 24, 2021: The Supreme Court declines to issue a stay and upholds the Texas district court decision.

October 29, 2021: Mayorkas sends a memo with a second attempt to terminate MPP.

December 13, 2021: ​​A Fifth Circuit panel of judges argues the administration’s second termination memo did not amend the issue of whether the earlier termination of MPP was done in compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

December 29, 2021: The Biden administration requests the Supreme Court review the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

February 25, 2022: The Supreme Court took on the case of Biden v. Texas and placed the case on an expedited timeline.

April 2022: Oral arguments were held on Biden v. Texas.

June 30, 2022: Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Biden administration did not violate section 1225 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) with the recession of MPP and said the October 29 memo stands.

MPP, more commonly known as the Remain in Mexico policy, was enacted in January 2019. Trump reached a deal with the Mexican government to return migrants arriving through Mexico and seeking asylum in the U.S.

Biden ended MPP in February 2021, but was immediately met with legal challenges.

Lower courts ruled that the Biden administration violated federal law when he rescinded the policy.

The Supreme Court, however, issued its ruling on Thursday starting that the administration did not violate section 1225 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) with the recession of MPP.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memo on October 29, 2021 renewing its effort to end MPP after the administration was earlier in the year ordered by a federal judge to restart the program.

That judge claimed the administration failed to follow proper regulatory procedure when rescinding the policy.

The Supreme Court held on Thursday that the October memo had ‘constituted final agency action’ on the matter.

After news broke that dozens of migrants were found dead and in critical condition in the back of a semi-truck in an apparent smuggling attempt, California Representative Jimmy Gomez said MPP are ‘forcing people’ into these deadly situations.

‘Absolutely horrifying news,’ he wrote. ‘Trump-era policies like #Title42 and #MPP are forcing people — who only want a better life for themselves and their families — into deadly conditions.’

The deadliest human smuggling attempt in American history immediately launched Republicans and Democrats into the blame game, claiming that the opposite parties’ policies are to blame for the loss of life.

‘Because of the way that the Biden administration is not enforcing the immigration laws, it’s attracting people and enticing people to make this very dangerous trek, causing them to lose their lives,’ Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott said during a press conference on Wednesday.

‘I urge the president: Stop the loss of lives,’ he added. ‘You have the ability to stop people from losing their lives if you make it clear that nobody can come across illegally.’

‘There’s a perfectly legal way that people can immigrate to the United States of America. It’s that legal pathway, Mr. President, that you must insist upon – and if you do that, you will have a role in reducing the loss of life.’

VP Harris said in an interview with NPR released Tuesday that Abbott isn’t ‘dealing with the realities of the issue.’

‘How the governor of that state responded really highlights part of the problem because his response when there are 50 dead bodies in his state is to go straight to politics,’ the vice president said.

Surveillance cameras captured Homero Zamorano, 45, driving the rig across the border hours before he allegedly abandoned it on a road in the outskirts of San Antonio. Police say Zamorano was 'very high on meth' at the time of his arrest and had attempted to disguise himself as a victim of the tragedy to 'avoid being detained'

Surveillance cameras captured Homero Zamorano, 45, driving the rig across the border hours before he allegedly abandoned it on a road in the outskirts of San Antonio. Police say Zamorano was ‘very high on meth’ at the time of his arrest and had attempted to disguise himself as a victim of the tragedy to ‘avoid being detained’

The death toll rose from 50 to 53 in the days after the tragedy and as of Wednesday officials had identified 34 of the deceased. Several other survivors are in critical condition after suffering brain damage and internal bleeding.

‘President Biden was warned in advance that reduced border enforcement would lead to dire consequences, and we have seen those dire consequences,’ Abbott said at his press conference Wednesday afternoon.

The driver of the truck Homero Zamorano, 45, was ‘very high on meth’ at the time of his arrest, according to police.

He allegedly tried to disguise himself as one of the victims to avoid being caught.

Ketanji Brown Jackson sworn in as first black female Supreme Court justice

Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in Thursday to the Supreme Court by Justice Stephen Breyer, whose seat she is taking with his retirement from the bench.

Brown recited the Judicial Oath back to Jackson as he officially became a retired justice and she took her post following her confirmation earlier this year.

Jackson makes history with the ceremony Thursday as the first black female to serve as a Supreme Court Justice.

‘On behalf of all of the members of the Court I am pleased to welcome Justice Jackson to the Court and to our common calling,’ conservative Chief Justice John Roberts said once the new justices completed her oath and shook Breyer’s hand.

Retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer (right) administered the Judicial Oath to his replacement Ketanji Jackson Brown (left) on Thursday

Retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer (right) administered the Judicial Oath to his replacement Ketanji Jackson Brown (left) on Thursday

Breyer’s final term before handing his spot over to Jackson saw several controversial decisions with the recent 6-3 conservative majority following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The consequential term saw the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade overturned, which eliminated federal protections for a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy and instead sent the issue back to the states.

President Joe Biden nominated Jackson after Breyer announced his retirement in January 2022.

The justices gathered Thursday for the swearing-in ceremony after their final two opinions of the term were issued on Thursday – including one that upheld Biden’s move to terminate the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

The other opinion was a 6 to 3 decision that restrains the federal government’s ability to regulate emissions at power plants.



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