SAN ANTONIO — Gov. Abbott issued a statement Thursday after the Supreme Court ruled the Biden administration properly ended a Trump-era policy forcing some U.S. asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico.
In the statement, Abbott acknowledges the court's decision while also calling on President Biden to take steps to secure the border.
Biden had suspended the program on his first day in office in January 2021. But lower courts ordered it reinstated in response to a lawsuit from Republican-led Texas and Missouri. The current administration has sent far fewer people back to Mexico than did the Trump administration.
The governor also continued to blame President Biden's policies for the tragic situation when 53 migrants lost their lives in heat-related injuries after being found in an 18-wheeler. That incident happened on Monday, June 27, in southwest San Antonio.
See Gov. Abbott's full statement below:
“The Supreme Court’s decision upholding DHS’s termination of the Remain-in-Mexico policy will only embolden the Biden Administration’s open border policies. More than fifty people recently died in a trailer—people who were allowed to cross our border illegally because of President Biden’s policies. Reinstating and fully enforcing Remain-in-Mexico would deter thousands more migrants from making that deadly trek, and President Biden should take that simple step to secure the border because it is the only humane thing to do.”
About 70,000 people were enrolled in the program, formally known as Migrant Protection Protocols, after President Donald Trump launched it in 2019 and made it a centerpiece of efforts to deter asylum-seekers.
After Biden’s suspension of the program, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas ended it in June 2021. In October, the department produced additional justifications for the policy’s demise, to no avail in the courts.
The program resumed in December, but barely 3,000 migrants had enrolled by the end of March, during a period when authorities stopped migrants about 700,000 times at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Democratic-led states and progressive groups were on the administration’s side. Republican-run states and conservative groups sided with Texas and Missouri.