Dozens of groups file brief opposing Remain in Mexico policy as Supreme Court arguments approach

“Tens of thousands of people legally attempting to seek protection in the United States have been subjected to an inherently cruel policy that strands people seeking safety at our border in dangerous and often deadly situations,” one of the signatories,, said in a release received by Daily Kos. “The stories of asylum seekers are brought to light in this brief now before the Supreme Court.”

Among them are Jonathan and Daya, a young couple expecting a child within just a few weeks. But US border officials instead of separated the family, allowing Daya to seek relief but forcibly returning Jonathan to Mexico. Another family, Roberto and his son Mario, were totally blocked, and were targeted by cartels just days after being sent back to Mexico. While Mario got away, he has no idea what happened to his dad.

But Mario’s nightmare didn’t end there, the legal brief states. He again sought asylum, this time by himself, and was processed as an unaccompanied minor. It was then that he found out that he’d received an “in absentia” removal order after missing his hearing. You know, after getting violently targeted by cartels. But as horrific as that is, it’s in no way unique, previous reporting has found.

Advocates have said that a ruling on Biden v. Texas could stretch far beyond asylum policy because justices will be deciding whether an incumbent president even has the ability to legitimately end a predecessor’s very flawed policy. But the courts have also made it no secret that they believe Democratic presidents have no right to govern.

“Voters rejected President Trump’s failed policies at the ballot box in 2018 and 2020,” Justice Action Center Director Karen Tumlin said. “Blocking President Biden’s power to reverse Trump’s executive orders has wide sweeping implications on the power of the Executive Branch. Unless the Supreme Court rejects the lower court decision, people fleeing for their lives will continue to suffer extreme violence and cruelty in violation of their congressional and statutory rights to seek safety. Upholding the Fifth Circuit decision would affirm an attack on the very values ​​and system of our American democracy.”


The legal brief is part of a #SafeNotStranded campaign seeking to shed light on the litigation. Texas in particular has used right-wing courts to sabotage the president’s immigration agenda, including forcing the reversal of the Remain in Mexico rescission and sending vulnerable people back to imminent harm.

“From its very inception, Remain in Mexico was always harmful about using cruelty to deter people in desperate need of protection from seeking relief in the United States, and we have seen first hand the devastating human impacts of this approach,” Director of Immigration Capacity Building Susie Haslett said. “The idea that our judicial system could force this administration, or future administrations, to continue inflicting cruelty on people is unthinkable, with consequences far beyond border and immigration policy.”

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