The Biden administration on Monday filed a notice of appeal of a court ruling last week that revived former President Donald Trump’s "Remain in Mexico" program.
The three-page notice was first reported by Bloomberg News.
The appeal comes after a federal judge Friday ordered the administration to reinstate Trump’s policy that forced tens of thousands of Central American asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. court cases.
In the decision — a victory for the states of Missouri and Texas, which brought the suit — District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk said the Biden administration had violated laws on procedure by failing to consider "several of the main benefits" of the program and acted "arbitrarily and capriciously" in ending it.
A Biden administration memo announcing a formal end to the policy was circulated June 1.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at the time the Trump-era policy “does not adequately or sustainably enhance border management in such a way as to justify the program’s extensive operational burdens and other shortfalls.”
Trump instituted the policy in early 2019.
In his 53-page ruling, Kacsmaryk said that Mayorkas had failed “to show a reasoned decision” for ending the program. The judge, who was appointed by Trump, also faulted the Biden appointee for not addressing “the problems created by false claims of asylum” or considering that many asylum seekers are “found non-meritorious by federal immigration judges.”
Kacsmaryk stayed his decision for a week to allow for the appeal by President Joe Biden.
Trump's "remain in Mexico" policy sought to block asylum seekers from Central America by making them wait in Mexico for the outcome of their U.S. asylum hearings.
Defenders of the policy said it reduced pressure on overburdened immigration officials; human rights groups said it violated due process and exposed destitute refugees to the risk of kidnap, abuse and rape.
The Department of Homeland Security didn’t return a query about its plans to implement the program if the appeal is unsuccessful, Bloomberg reported.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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