U.S. Supreme Court to Toss Remain in Mexico Injunction?

Press Releases

May 5, 2022

IRLI shows Court why district court had jurisdiction to order program restored

WASHINGTON—Today, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court showing the Court why it has a duty to reach the merits of a case it is hearing about the Remain in Mexico policy.

A Texas district court has ordered the resumption of that policy, under which asylum seekers are returned to Mexico to wait for their asylum hearings in that country, rather than in the United States, until the border is secure and the Biden Administration can meet its statutory obligation to detain all illegal aliens. The administration has appealed this decision all the way to the Supreme Court, in which IRLI filed a brief on the merits, and the Court heard oral argument on Tuesday.

After the argument, however, the Court ordered supplemental briefing on a bedrock issue: jurisdiction. At issue is whether a certain statute removed jurisdiction from the district court even to hear the case, let alone grant an injunction.

In its brief, IRLI shows that this statute should not be read to remove jurisdiction over suits brought by states under the Administrative Procedure Act because such jurisdiction existed before the statute, and the statute does not clearly and expressly remove it. Also, the statute in no way prevents courts from hearing claims brought in equity against public officials, such as the administration officials sued here.

IRLI closes its brief by reminding the Court of its duty to reach the merits of this important case if jurisdiction is present, and urging it to uphold the remedial power of federal courts to issue injunctions that prevent deliberate, massive lawbreaking.

“The Biden administration is at war with immigration law, and deliberately arranged things so that it would be forced to violate it on a massive scale,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “We hope our brief helps the Court to assure itself of its jurisdiction, so it can move on to the vitally-important issues here, and affirm the authority of federal courts to block this administration’s calculated schemes of lawbreaking.”

The case is Biden v. Texas, No. 21-954 (Supreme Court).

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