Judges Are Thwarting Biden’s Agenda at the Border

In case you haven’t noticed already, this has not been America’s finest year. With the Afghanistan debacle, the Biden Administration has now given us a 21st-century Saigon moment. Our southern border resembles the lawless no man’s land of “The Road Warrior.” Overall, America’s descent under Joe Biden has made Jimmy Carter’s malaise days look like the Era of Good Feelings.

Even against this bleak landscape we may find reason for hope. Like tiny leaves of vegetation sprouting forth in a sun-scorched desert terrain, hope has a funny way of emerging in the most unlikely of places. So it is here. The biggest obstacle to Biden’s war on our borders has come not from the mostly feckless members of Congress, but from the judges in our federal courts.

This is irony on steroids, as far-left immigration legal groups used the courts to get injunctions against virtually every move Donald Trump took to secure the southern U.S. border and control our runaway immigration system. During the Trump presidency it seemed that our judiciary had been co-opted, like so many of our other institutions, to do the bidding of permanent Washington rather than that of the American people.

Yet since January, the courts have served to block a number of Biden initiatives on immigration. Biden took a big uppercut to the jaw this week with the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to decline the administration’s request to halt resumption of Trump’s “wait in Mexico” policy. In the far-left, anti-borders world, being told by the high court to revert back to a Trump-era immigration policy is a grievous insult that will no doubt reignite calls to pack the court as retribution.  

The case came to the Supreme Court when a Texas federal district court earlier this month ordered the resumption of the policy, part of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), of returning asylum seekers to Mexico to wait for their asylum hearings in that country, rather than in the United States.

When the government appealed the decision, Biden suffered another ignominious defeat as the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to stay the Texas court’s decision while the government appeals the injunction.

What is going on here? While Biden has thus far been able to rely on his water carriers in the media to sell his immigration agenda to the public, the courts are a different playing field entirely. There, his emotion-based appeals do him little good when they are held up to scrutiny. In the Texas case, the administration lawyers did not even address why they wanted to rescind a policy that was undeniably effective. For that reason, among others, the judge ruled Biden’s actions to be arbitrary and capricious.

Despite the Left’s demonization of all things Trump, the reality is MPP was good for America. It prevented the release of tens of thousands of aliens into the country, the overwhelming majority of whom file completely meritless asylum claims or have no intention of showing up to their hearings. It spared states from the enormous costs that this influx of people has on their finite resources. Only an ideology that cares little for the well-being of this country and its citizens could be against such a policy.  

The radical agenda-driven policies of this administration are also starting to impede on each other. In the MPP ruling, the Texas judge stated that asylum seekers would have to remain in Mexico until the Biden Administration has the ability to detain them here. Why wouldn’t the administration have the ability to detain them here? Perhaps because they decided to wreck the stable border situation they inherited and fill our detention centers to overflow capacity with foreign nationals that Biden encouraged to “surge the border” last fall.

Instead of moderating to policies that actually serve the national interest, the Biden Administration and its hangers-on instead declare war on the judiciary with threats to pack the Supreme Court until it is a reliable, hyperpartisan rubber stamp for their agenda. If that happens, we will be a constitutional republic in name only. Our nation is on the verge of fracture. Our system of checks and balances is one of the few remaining things holding it together. It is a hill worth dying on that we must defend.

About Brian Lonergan

Brian Lonergan is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

Photo: Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images

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