President Trump won a surprise victory before a usually antagonistic appeals court Tuesday when judges ruled he could continue his “Return to Mexico” policy that allows the government to make some illegal immigrants seeking asylum wait in Mexico while their cases are being heard.
The policy, which the administration officially calls the Migrant Protection Protocols, had been one of the administration’s Hail Mary attempts to try to control the surge of illegal immigrants from Central America. Many of those are lodging asylum claims and counting on lax U.S. policies to earn them a foothold here, even if they don’t deserve asylum under the law.
The goal was to make them wait in Mexico — effectively denying them that foothold — while their cases are being heard.
A three-judge panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has been a roadblock to much of the president’s immigration agenda, sided with him, ruling that the law allows the Return to Mexico policy to proceed, and finding it’s particularly necessary given the surge of migrants.