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Biden turns to Supreme Court to end ‘Remain in Mexico’ programme

WASHINGTON (AFP) – United States (US) President Joe Biden’s administration has asked the Supreme Court to end a Trump-era policy under which migrants seeking asylum in the US must wait in Mexico while their cases are being considered.

The Justice Department has asked the conservative-leaning high court to review decisions made by earlier courts that left the migration programme in place, according to legal documents reviewed by AFP on Thursday.

Under then-president Donald Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ programme, tens of thousands of non-Mexican asylum seekers – mostly from Central America – were sent back over the border pending the outcome of their applications.

Biden, a Democrat, has sought to dismantle the programme, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

Those efforts have faced setbacks in the US court system, and most recently an appeals court ruled this month that the programme should continue.

In a legal document filed on Wednesday, the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to review the case, arguing that the programme “exposes migrants to unacceptable” risks and that previous court decisions were based on “erroneous interpretations” of the law.

United States President Joe Biden. PHOTO: AFP