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Supreme Court allows Trump admin to deny asylum claims of most migrants

The U.S. Supreme Court (Dreamstime/TNS)
September 11, 2019

The Supreme Court has ordered that the Trump Administration may begin enforcing a new rule prohibiting asylum for immigrants if they’ve crossed another country’s border before reaching the U.S.

The rule, which was formerly blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, allows the federal government to deny asylum to immigrants who did not seek asylum in other countries they may have passed through before reaching the U.S.

The Supreme Court’s order issued late Wednesday temporarily revokes the Ninth Circuit’s ruling.

Most Central American migrants who have applied for asylum in the U.S. would be ineligible under the new rule.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a scathing four-page dissent, in which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined.

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“Once again, the Executive Branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution,” Sotomayor wrote.

“Although this Nation has long kept its doors open to refugees—and although the stakes for asylum seekers could not be higher—the Government implemented its rule without first providing the public notice and inviting the public input generally required by law,” the justice continued.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco had blocked the administration from enforcing the new asylum rule in late July, as the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

The case then moved to the Ninth Circuit, where a panel of three judges restricted the rule to apply only to Arizona and California, states within their scope.

Dissatisfied with the administration’s ability to enforce the rule in the rest of the country, Tigar then released a modified order on Monday that blocked the rule’s enforcement anywhere in the nation.

His order was upheld by the Ninth Circuit the following day.

The Trump Administration then filed a request to the Supreme Court to be able to enforce the law nationwide, citing “harms to the Executive Branch of relief that extends beyond the parties to the case.”