With a ruling from the Supreme Court Thursday, one of the county's most controversial immigration policies is coming to an end.
In a 5-4 ruling, the high court backed the Biden administration’s request to end the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” program.
This policy required anyone seeking asylum in the U.S. to wait in Mexico for months, or potentially years while their claim was processed.
Christian Velazquez, of San Jose, said the journey from South America to our southern border with Mexico is demeaning and dangerous, but it's a journey several of his friends and family has had to take.
Some of them have been able to start their process in the U.S., but others are caught in the policy put in place in 2009 by the Trump administration.
Some of Velazquez’s friends have been in Mexico tent cities for 6 to 12 months.
But on Thursday, he said there’s hope. The Supreme Court ruling clears the way for the Biden administration to end the controversial policy.
The administration had tried to rescind it in June, but a federal district judge blocked his order.
“What were waiting or now is to see, as soon as the lower courts injunction that was forcing the administration to keep this policy in place, goes away then the administration would be able to stop all the enrollments and hopefully be able to bring in all the people that were subject to this policy,” said Blaine Bookey, legal director at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies.
Nearly 70,000 people have been shuttled back to Mexico since the policy began.
And Bookey said thousands more have struggled to get access to lawyers - making them targets for cartels who offer to bring them in illegally - sometimes with deadly consequences.
“The devastating loss of life that we saw earlier this week in San Antonio really just set out for everyone just the dire consequences of policy like remain in Mexico, like Title 42 and this web of policies to try and keep asylum seekers out,” said Bookey.
Velazquez said this is a big step toward a better future for thousands of immigrants fleeing violence.
It's not clear as to when the order will end, but were told it could be just a matter of days, depending on how soon the Supreme Court and White House expedite the process.