The Supreme Court handed down a defeat for the Biden administration and its effort to end the "remain in Mexico" policy begun by former President Donald Trump in 2019.
The highest court in the land said in the 6-3 decision that the policy would have to be reinstated after Biden ordered its end.
The controversial policy required those seeking asylum in the United States to remain in Mexico while their documents were being processed. Critics said the policy was racist while supporters said it would prevent those whose applications were denied from staying in the country illegally.
Attorneys general for Missouri and Texas secured a victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to order the reinstatement of the policy.
The Biden administration then asked the Supreme Court for an emergency order to block the lower court order to reinstate the policy, which is officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the administration had not sufficiently argued that it would have proven it was legal to end the policy. He referred the matter to the court instead of granting the administration's request to block the lower court order.
Three of the court's liberal judges dissented: Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer.
Biden will have to enforce the policy while litigation continues in the courts.
Illegal alien advocates were angered by the legal development.
"I'm disgusted and sick abt the SCOTUS Remain in Mexico decision. History will judge this inhumanity," tweeted journalist Maria Hinojosa.
"No matter what happened tonight, we are going to keep fighting," tweeted immigration lawyer Aaron Reichlin-Melnick. "We've been fighting MPP/Remain in Mexico since the day it was announced 2.5 years ago and we're going to keep fighting it now. We will not back down. This doesn't end tonight."
Here's more about the remain in Mexico policy:
Judge orders reinstating 'remain in Mexico' border policy www.youtube.com