Supreme Court dismisses as moot a challenge to Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ immigration policy

Critics of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies have challenged them in court on several fronts.

Among the most impactful was the Mitigation Protection Protocol, commonly known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that it would not even hear oral arguments in a case against the now-defunct executive order.

Litigants pursue case

The rule, which required most asylum seekers to wait south of the border until their cases were adjudicated, was challenged in a lawsuit that was appealed all the way to the nation’s highest court.

As the Washington Examiner explained, the Trump-era Department of Homeland Security first implemented the rule in 2019.

Upon entering office, President Joe Biden announced his intention to end the program, prompting the Supreme Court to cancel the scheduled oral arguments in the case. The program was formally concluded in a memo issued earlier this month by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

According to The Hill, the “Remain in Mexico” policy drew immediate challenges by immigration advocates. A district court and appeals court both ruled against the Trump administration, going so far as to impose a nationwide injunction against the program.

That injunction was lifted by the Supreme Court, though, and the policy was allowed to be implemented while litigation continued.

Justices issue ruling

Considering the subsequent shift in leadership within the executive branch, there appears to be no more need for the court process to play out any further.

As such, Supreme Court justices determined in an unsigned order that its prior judgment should be vacated, remanding the case back down to the 9th Circuit Court along with explicit instructions for it and the district court involved to further vacate the injunction and dismiss the challenge as moot.

The order also dismissed a motion to intervene that had reportedly been filed by a collection of states led by Texas that sought to defend the policy.

This week’s decision represents at least the second in which a challenge to Trump’s immigration policies was dropped or dismissed prior to receiving a Supreme Court hearing.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department asked the high court to dismiss a suit challenging the manner in which Trump secured additional funding for border wall construction. That case was also determined to be irrelevant given Biden’s order to redirect funding back to where it had originated.

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