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Schmitt touts ‘huge win’ as SCOTUS declines to block reinstatement of Trump-era immigration policy

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to block a lower court’s decision ordering the Biden administration to reimplement a Trump-era immigration policy — a win for Attorney General Eric Schmitt

The administration had ended the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, which kept migrants in Mexico while awaiting a hearing to enter the U.S., in January. Schmitt along with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration in April in an effort to reinstate the MPP program, also referred to as the “Remain-in-Mexico” plan. The pair argued the MPP reduced detention and enforcement burdens for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) among other agencies. 

A federal judge sided with the attorneys general earlier this month, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant the administration’s request for a stay Tuesday. The brief order issued Tuesday evening said the Biden administration “failed to show a likelihood of success” with their claim that the suspension of the MPP policy was not arbitrary or capricious. 

The three liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, said they would have granted the application. 

Schmitt praised the decision, arguing the Trump-era policy “helped fight the crisis at the border.” 

“This is a huge win for border security and the rule of law and highlights our efforts to continually fight back on federal government overreach,” Schmitt said. 

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas, in a 53-page order, told the Biden administration to reinstate the MPP program. The judge, a Trump appointee, had also ordered the government to file a monthly report beginning in September that includes total monthly encounters at the border, the number of people expelled, total detention capacity, and total monthly number of applicants, among other things. 

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had declined to issue an emergency stay, propelling the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Samuel Alito granted a brief stay on Friday while the court considered the case; that was set to expire Tuesday at midnight. 

Schmitt is running for U.S. Senate as a Republican in Missouri.