Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton went back to court Thursday to ask a judge to order Homeland Security to reinstate the “Remain in Mexico” border policy, saying Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas appears to be slow-walking the court’s order restoring the policy.
Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled more than a month ago that Mr. Mayorkas’s attempt to phase out the policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, was done in defiance of the law.
He ordered Mr. Mayorkas to work in good faith to restore the policy.
Mr. Paxton said the intervening weeks have seen no progress, and he said it’s time the judge gets involved in making it happen.
“I have already sued this administration and won – yet they still think they are above the law and can continue shirking their responsibilities,” the Republican state attorney general said.
MPP was one of the key policies the Trump team used to solve the 2019 border surge.
The policy allowed the Border Patrol to immediately push newly arrived illegal immigrants back across the border into Mexico to await their immigration court proceedings.
It denied the migrants a foothold in the U.S., effectively undercutting the incentive for people to come and make bogus claims that tied up the courts for years, all while they lived and worked in the U.S.
The Biden administration called the policy cruel, siding with activists who said it sent needy people back to rough conditions in Mexico.
But Judge Kacsmaryk ruled the attempt to revoke MPP broke procedural laws. In particular, he said, Mr. Mayorkas tried to wave away Homeland Security’s own evaluation that MPP was a successful program.
Mr. Mayorkas told Congress earlier this week that he was trying to comply with the ruling, but said it requires negotiations with Mexico.
“It is being implemented. We are developing the implementation plan as we are required,” he said.
The Biden administration had fought the ruling, including asking the Supreme Court to put it on hold. But the justices declined, delivering a stunning victory to Mr. Paxton.