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Central American migrants who were expelled from the U.S. and later bused by Mexican authorities to El Ceibo, Guatemala. Photo: Johan Ordóñez/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court has let stand a lower-court decision to reinstate the "Remain in Mexico" program, leaving Mexican authorities and asylum seekers on tenterhooks.

Why it matters: Thousands of claims that had been stalled by the so-called Migration Protection Protocols were advancing with applicants' return to the U.S.

  • “We don’t even really know what it would look like to reinstate it at this point,” immigration lawyer Bradley Jenkins told Axios Latino about the program, which the Biden administration had ended in June.
  • It forced non-Mexican asylum seekers to wait in Mexico, which that country initially consented to, after they sought refuge from the southern U.S. border.
  • There, many found the same violence that had originally led them to leave home: at least 1,500 were victims of murder, rape, torture or kidnapping, according to a report from Human Rights First.

What's next: An appeals court will take up the case, and it could eventually end up back at the high court.

The intrigue: A lower court in Nevada ruled in a separate case last week that deportation after illegal reentry is unconstitutional because it is racist.

  • Judge Miranda Du ruled that a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which makes returning to the US. after being deported a felony, violates the equal protection clause.
  • Jenkins, the immigration attorney, stated that “it’s a controversial position” that higher courts might reverse if the White House chooses to appeal.
  • But he added that the argument could be used in other individual criminal cases and that “it will likely lead to a robust legal debate” on whether the discriminatory origins of certain immigration policies should mean those laws are not applicable.

Get more news that matters about Latinos in the hemisphere, delivered right to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sign up here for the Axios Latino newsletter.

Go deeper

Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocks abortion restrictions

A pro-choice activist demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked three abortion restrictions set to take effect on Nov. 1.

Why it matters: The laws would place new limits on medication-induced abortions and require doctors who perform abortions to attain board certification in obstetrics and gynecology.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

NYC firefighters union urges members to defy mayor's vaccine mandate

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The president of New York City's firefighters union told reporters Wednesday that he's advised unvaccinated members to ignore Mayor Bill de Blasio's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Under de Blasio's order that's due to take effect Friday, unvaccinated city employees would be placed on unpaid leave. But Uniformed Firefighters Association head Andrew Ansbro said he told members that "if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty," according to Reuters.

4 hours ago - Health

Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.