The Supreme Court favors Trump over Biden in asylum border dispute

The Biden administration’s attempt to abolish President Trump’s policy, which has forced tens of thousands of asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their cases to be processed, was met with skepticism by the Supreme Court justices on Tuesday.

Several conservatives on the court said they agreed with Texas state attorneys and Trump-appointed judges who determined that US immigration officers could not let the migrants enter the country and go free pending their case.

They cited a law that stated that asylum seekers “shall be detained” while their applications were heard. The administration’s Solicitor General, Elizabeth B. Prelogar, contended that the government could not imprison so many asylum seekers for months or years.

According to a report, 220,000 migrants were detained at or near the border in March, but only 32,000 beds were available in holding facilities.

“No one disputes that the [Department of Homeland Security] lacks sufficient detention capacity” to accommodate all of the migrants, she said.

She claimed that the government’s only realistic alternative was to release the majority of them if they were deemed likely to return when their asylum claims were scheduled to be considered.

Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh questioned whether Congress intended for this to happen. Is there any indication “that anyone in Congress expected hundreds of thousands of immigrants to be paroled into the United States without being lawfully admitted if there wasn’t enough detention capacity?” he wondered.

The administration’s stance, according to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., would allow a limitless number of migrants to be allowed and freed.

“In detention, there aren’t enough beds.  So, as you read the statute, there is no limit to the number of people you can release into the United States, right?” He informed the solicitor general.

In 2019, the Trump administration took a different approach, sending many Central American migrants back across the border to Mexico. Its administrators did so in the hopes of discouraging other migrants from heading north.