The Supreme Court is temporarily halting a judge's order that would have forced the government to reinstate a Trump administration policy forcing thousands to wait in Mexico while seeking asylum in the U.S.
Justice Samuel Alito issued the temporary stay late Friday night. It will remain in effect until Tuesday night so the high court can consider filings in the case.
The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court to intervene after the 5th U.S. Circuit Appeal in New Orleans court failed to stop the resumption of Trump-era policy requiring asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases were being processed.
President Joe Biden had suspended the program, the Migrant Protection Protocols commonly known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy, but a federal judge reinstated the program earlier this month. That ruling was upheld this week by an appeals court.
The federal judge's ruling, the administration argued in court documents, "requires the government to abruptly reinstate a broad and controversial immigration enforcement program that has been formally suspended for seven months and largely dormant for nearly nine months before that."
"Relief from this Court is both urgently needed and amply justified," the government argued.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, earlier this month ordered the administration to reinstate the program.
Kacsmaryk said the administration “failed to consider several critical factors” when ending the program. He specifically cited Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas's formal ending of the MPP in June as a violation of federal law.
In its filing Friday, the administration said the district court's decision "would prejudice the United States’ relations with vital regional partners, severely disrupt its operations at the southern border, and threaten to create a diplomatic and humanitarian crisis."
Contributing: The Associated Press