Indiana leads 15-state brief in favor of remain-in-Mexico immigration policy

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita this week led a 15-state coalition in opposition to President Joe Biden’s attempt to overturn the previous administration ‘s remain-in-Mexico immigration policy.

A federal appeals court has declined Biden’s request to stay the injunction against his revocation of the policy, just days after Rokita filed an amicus brief.

Indiana — joined by Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia — submitted an amicus brief Wednesday in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The brief opposed the Biden administration’s motion for a stay of an injunction against his revocation of the remain-in-Mexico policy, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols.

Plaintiffs Texas and Missouri originally filed suit, claiming Biden’s attempt to nix the Migrant Protection Protocols implemented under the Trump administration was illegal and harmful.

A federal judge on Aug. 13 ordered the Biden administration to “enforce and implement” the Trump-era policy in good faith. It also ordered the administration to enforce MPP until it has been “lawfully rescinded” in compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act, and until the federal government has enough detention capacity to detail all migrants subject to mandatory detention.

The Biden administration, which revoked the MPP on June 1, asked for a stay of the district court’s injunction pending an appeal. The 5th Circuit has denied that request, CNN reported Friday morning.

Rokita, a Republican, argued in the states’ amicus brief that MPP was a “vital tool to combat illegal immigration,” and that it promoted “a fairer and more operationally effective immigration system.” The states also asserted that removing MPP jeopardizes the interests of the states.

Indiana’s brief argued that before MPP’s implementation, each year thousands of undocumented immigrants were paroled in the United States while awaiting hearings, which took several years. Following the introduction of MPP, the brief alleged appearance rates improved while processing times before the pandemic significantly decreased.

The brief also asserted that MPP “likely led to an overall reduction of encounters at the border and likely encouraged many asylum seekers without meritorious claims to stay in or return to their countr(ies) of origin”

Rokita argued the remain-in-Mexico policy was a “commonsense measure” and that it was a “reasonable response to the surge of hundreds of thousands of Central American migrants attempting to cross through Mexico into the United States.”

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