The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday heard oral arguments on former President Donald Trump's Remain In Mexico Policy or the Migration Protection Protocols, which mandates asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while the hearing for their petition is pending in the U.S. immigration court.

According to SCOTUSblog, the Supreme Court justices will decide on the Biden v. Texas case that questions the implementation of the Migration Protection Protocols. The policy was announced by Trump in 2018 and was allowed for implementation by the court in 2020. The two-year gap in its implementation comes from the block enforced by a California federal district judge.

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court in October 2020 regarding the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling that the policy was inconsistent with the country's immigration law and with international law.

However, the Biden Administration through Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas ended the policy by issuing a decision on its termination in June 2021. The states of Missouri and Texas challenged Mayorkas' decision pushing the federal district court to vacate the policy's termination. The court reasoned that Mayorkas' decision was insufficiently explained.

The Biden Administration filed for a stay in the policy's termination in the Supreme Court but was rejected. Accordingly, Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor dissented from it. The case was then filed in the US Court of Appeals for the 5th District before it reached the Supreme Court last February. The justices announced last March the schedule of the oral argument for April.

There are two issues being challenged by Biden v. Texas. These are "(1) Whether 8 U.S.C. § 1225 requires the Department of Homeland Security to continue implementing the Migrant Protection Protocols, a former policy under which certain noncitizens arriving at the southwest border were returned to Mexico during their immigration proceedings; and (2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit erred by concluding that the secretary of homeland security's new decision terminating MPP had no legal effect."

During Monday's oral review, SCOTUSblog highlighted that tough questions were disputed by both sides regarding the Remain In Mexico Policy. The justices were divided on the matter as some maintained the policy was inconsistent with federal immigration law. They raised doubt that Congress would allow a large number of asylum seekers to be released into the United States.

On the other hand, most of the conservative justices challenged the idea of Texas and Missouri maintaining the policy since it would require cooperation with the Mexican government. Texas, represented by Solicitor General Judd Stone, highlighted the three options provided in the federal immigration law for asylum seekers arriving at the U.S. border.

Stone pointed out that allowing asylum seekers to temporarily stay in the country is on a case-to-case basis. This opening will eventually return them to Mexico or Canada or hold them in a US detention cell based on the circumstances of their arrival. Stone said the Biden administration should choose from the said options while stressing that terminating the MPP is a violation of federal law.

United States Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, who represented the Biden Administration, explained that Mayorkas' policy termination was born from the exercise of "his statutory discretion to make a policy judgment." Prelogar said Mayorkas made the decision after realizing that the policy's benefits were outweighed by humanitarian, domestic, and foreign policy costs.