The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their applications are processed in the U.S.
The court’s decision overturns a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals injunction against the policy covering the entire U.S.-Mexico border. Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only judge who dissented. However, the ruling does not dispel other legal challenges currently brought against the policy in other courts.
The Remain in Mexico policy has been touted by the administration as a deterrent to illegal immigration. Around 60,000 asylum seekers are currently enrolled in the program.
Critics charge that it forces migrants to wait in dangerous Mexican border towns. In the 9th Circuit’s injunction, Judge William Fletcher wrote that the policy poses serious harm to migrants.
“[The Migrant Protection Protocols have] had serious adverse consequences for the individual plaintiffs,” Fletcher wrote. “Plaintiffs presented evidence in the district court that they, as well as others returned to Mexico under the MPP, face targeted discrimination, physical violence, sexual assault, overwhelmed and corrupt law enforcement, lack of food and shelter, and practical obstacles to participation in court proceedings in the United States.”
On Thursday the Pentagon announced it would deploy a “crisis force” of around 160 troops at two points on the U.S.-Mexico border, fearing that if the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the 9th Circuit, migrants would try to enter the U.S. en masse.