90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

U.S. Supreme Court Allows ‘Remain In Mexico’ Program To Continue

Clothing hangs to dry at a makeshift migrant camp for asylum seekers in Matamoros, Tamaulipas state, Mexico, on earlier this month. About 60,000 migrants live in filthy and dangerous conditions as they await their day in U.S. immigration court.
Image credit: Alejandro Cegarra

Updated at 5:09 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered the Trump administration another win on one of its signature immigration policies on Wednesday, allowing it to continue the controversial “Remain in Mexico” policy across the entire southern border.

The policy, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols, requires asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their day in U.S. immigration court. That has led to roughly 60,000 migrants getting sent back across the border since MPP was first implemented in January 2019. As of now, tens of thousands are still stuck in that country, often living in filthy and dangerous conditions.

The Supreme Court has yet to make a final ruling on the legality of the MPP program itself.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California briefly had blocked the policy last month, finding that it violates federal law, before staying its own ruling.

But the appeals court later issued a new order, blocking the policy in just two border states — California and Arizona. That was supposed to go into effect on Thursday. But the Supreme Court’s decision puts an end to that while lawsuits make their way through the federal court system.

Officials credit MPP as a “game-changer” in alleviating what they called a “mass migration crisis.”

In court, the Justice Department argued an injunction on the policy would create chaos along the southern border, prompting a rush by migrants into the country that would put American citizens at risk.

Meanwhile, immigrant advocates say it puts migrants in unnecessary danger by forcing them to wait in dangerous conditions on the Mexican border, in cities such as Tijuana, Juárez, Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros.

“The Court of Appeals unequivocally declared this policy to be illegal. The Supreme Court should as well,” said Judy Rabinovitz, special counsel in the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

“Asylum seekers face grave danger and irreversible harm every day this depraved policy remains in effect,” Rabinovitz added.

Judges from the Ninth Circuit Court agreed that MPP likely violated federal “non-refoulement” obligations under international and domestic laws, which prohibits the government from returning people to a country where they would face persecution or torture.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity