WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The Biden administration can now move forward with ending the controversial “Remain in Mexico” policy after a Supreme Court ruling in the administration’s favor.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court unexpectedly ruled in favor of allowing the Biden administration to end the policy that forces asylum seekers to wait for their hearings in Mexico.

“This is a policy directly responsible for more than 1,500 instances of murder, rape and the kidnapping of those who were forced to wait,” Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) said.

In a statement, Tennessee Republican congressman Chuck Fleischmann said he was disappointed by the ruling, calling the “Remain in Mexico” policy “one of the last and most effective tools…to secure our border.”

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Even when “Remain in Mexico” ends, another policy, Title 42, means the majority of people cannot apply for asylum. The CDC says the pandemic policy is no longer needed, but a group of states sued when the administration moved to end it.

California congresswoman Judy Chu is hopeful the Supreme Court’s new ruling resolves that challenge.

“This is a federal policy, that is something that should be handled through executive actions and not through the states,” Chu said.

Amy Ficher, with Amnesty International, is also cautiously optimistic.

“These types of policies that aim to deter people from seeking safety…are deadly,” Ficher said.

She says when people cannot seek asylum legally, they choose riskier alternatives, like the one that killed 51 migrants who were smuggled across the border in a semi-truck.

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