The nation’s highest court handed down another big decision on Thursday.
The U.S. Supreme Court is giving the Biden administration the ability to end the so-called "Remain in Mexico" policy that has forced thousands of migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. to wait in Mexico for their hearings.
Immigration advocates are claiming victory but also demanding action.
“We need the Biden administration to act swiftly and for not a single person to be added into the Remain in Mexico program following this decision,” said Adrianna Quiroga, policy and government affairs strategist for RAICE, a legal services provider and Texas immigrant advocacy nonprofit.
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RAICES says they’re prepared to help any of the estimated 70,000 migrants who have been waiting to claim asylum in the U.S.
The migrants, mostly Central American and Haitians, have been living in filthy makeshift camps along the U.S. Mexico border awaiting the opportunity to come into the U.S. and wait for their court proceedings.
The court’s decision allows the Biden administration to move forward with ending the policy officially known as Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP.
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President Donald Trump launched the program in 2019 to deter a wave of asylum seekers at the border.
President Joe Biden vowed to end the program during his presidential campaign, but once he was in office and tried to end the program, two states including Texas filed a lawsuit.
The case, Biden vs. Texas, ended up in the U.S. Supreme Court which handed Mr. Biden the victory with a 5-4 vote.
“It is important to understand that the decision that the Supreme Court made today does not open the door, the floodgates, for the border,” said immigration attorney Haim Vasquez.
Vasquez says there are countless policies still in place that immigration authorities use to determine whether undocumented migrants are to be allowed into the country or turned away immediately, including Title 42.
Title 42 is the CDC public health policy that has allowed for the immediate expulsion of migrants back to their home countries or to Mexico in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The controversial policy remains in place as the issue winds its way through the court system.
“Remain in Mexico and Title 42, we see them targeting mainly Black and brown migrants at the border,” said Quiroga. “We see them hindering folks’ ability to properly seek asylum in this country. So, they do go hand in hand and they’re both incredibly inhumane policies.”
Asked if she believes the Biden administration will move quickly to end MPP before the midterm elections, Quiroga did not appear sure.
“We were going to fight until it does, and we're prepared to continue to advocate and push the Biden administration on the promises that he's made to voters,” she said.