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Texas court lifts 'Remain in Mexico' order, the last hurdle keeping the policy in place

A federal court has officially vacated its earlier ruling that required the Biden administration to restart the Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP, the Trump-era program that forced tens of thousands of asylum seekers to await hearings in Mexico. 

This month marks a year since District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled in favor of Texas and other states that filed suit to restart the program.

He vacated that order Monday, after the Supreme Court took the case and ruled in favor of the Biden administration in June.

It marks the last legal barrier preventing the administration from terminating the policy as outlined in a memo issued by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Majorkas last year. 

The Department of Homeland Security issued this statement on Tuesday: 

We welcome the U.S. District Court’s decision, which follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 30th decision, to lift the injunction that required DHS to reimplement the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in good faith. DHS is committed to ending the court-ordered implementation of MPP in a quick, and orderly, manner. Individuals are no longer being newly enrolled into MPP, and individuals currently in MPP in Mexico will be disenrolled when they return for their next scheduled court date.  Individuals disenrolled from MPP will continue their removal proceedings in the United States.

As Secretary Mayorkas has said, MPP has endemic flaws, imposes unjustifiable human costs, and pulls resources and personnel away from other priority efforts to secure our border.

The Department will provide additional information in the coming days. MPP enrollees should follow the directions on their court documents and tear sheets to appear for their scheduled court date as required.

DHS continues to enforce our nation’s immigration and public health laws, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Title 42 public health order as required by court order. Individuals encountered at the Southwest Border who cannot establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be removed or expelled. 

Factual information on this process is available through official U.S. government sources and through international organizations that are working with governments in the region, including the United States.  Do not believe smugglers or others claiming to have exclusive information.

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Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.