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Senator Bob Menendez
Senator Bob Menendez was one of many Hispanic officials to celebrate the Supreme Court ruling allowing the Biden administration to overturn the Remain in Mexico policy. Photo: Getty Images.

Menendez celebrates Supreme Court decision granting Biden ability to overturn Remain in Mexico Policy

The win was also a rare one for the Biden administration in the halls of the highest court of the land.

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After a long legal battle that’s lasted since the early days of President Joe Biden’s presidency, his administration can now officially do away with the Remain in Mexico Policy without any more court blockades.

The news broke earlier on Thursday, June 30, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Biden administration 5-4 to end the Trump era policy that required asylum seekers coming to the U.S. to stay in Mexico while their claims were being processed. 

The policy mainly dealt with Central American migrants escaping dangerous situations in their home countries, only to deny them at the door for what could be months.

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, a number of Hispanic members of Congress offered praise, but called on Congress as a whole to reshape the U.S. immigration system so it is more fair.

Cuban-American Senator from New Jersey Bob Menendez called Remain in Mexico “one of the most destructive and inhumane vestiges of Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant legacy.”

“I’m glad the Supreme Court is paving the way for the United States to finally revoke this xenophobic policy,” he continued. “With today’s decision, we must commit ourselves to doing the difficult work ahead to meet our domestic and international legal obligations with respect to asylum seekers and to repair our longstanding status as a beacon of hope and opportunity for those fleeing from violence and persecution.”

Menendez also took aim at the pandemic-era implementation of Title 42, which allowed the expedited expulsion of migrants in the U.S. in the interest of curbing the spread of COVID-19. Democrats have argued since that the public health policy staying in place is yet another way the Trump administration attacked immigration.

“Ensuring a final end to Title 42 is critical,” he said

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus also released a statement that said the Supreme Court’s decision was a “step in the right direction,” but “work remains to build a more fair and humane asylum process.”

As evidence of the work left to do, the caucus’ statement also pointed to the migrant tragedy from earlier in the week, where 50 died after they were discovered in the back of an abandoned tractor-trailer in San Antonio on a sweltering Summer day. The tractor-trailer had no functioning AC unit despite being a refrigerated truck.

“The CHC stands ready to rebuild our immigration system as a whole and call on Republican Senators to stand up and help us get comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship across the finish line,” the statement reads.  

The Remain in Mexico Policy was first implemented in January 2019 as part of the Trump administration’s continued efforts to stem the flow of immigrants coming across the U.S.-Mexico border. Its official name is Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Between then and the end of 2020, around 70,000 migrants were sent back to Mexico to wait for court hearings, according to the American Immigration Council.

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