SCOTUS Hands Trump Major Victory On Immigration

Supreme Court clears the way for new asylum restrictions to take effect

Supreme Court clears the way for new asylum restrictions to take effect

In a victory for President Donald Trump, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the administration to enforce a new rule created to sharply limit who can apply for asylum at the U.S. -Mexico border.

The San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals on August 16 limited a federal judge's injunction blocking the rule to the nine Western states over which it has jurisdiction including the border states of California and Arizona.

The Supreme Court cleared the way for the Trump administration's rule that dramatically limits the ability of Central American migrants to claim asylum to go into effect nationwide while the appeals process plays out. They are largely ineligible under the new rule, as are asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and South America who arrive regularly at the southern border.

The policy, issued in July, was meant to discourage migrants from Central American who have streamed north in recent months, prepared to make iffy asylum claims and counting on the backlogged USA system and lax standards for initial asylum claims to earn them a foothold in the U.S.

The policy is among a host of measures Trump has taken in a bid to stem the flow of Central American migrants trying to cross into the USA from Mexico and request asylum.

Under the new rules, migrants would be barred from seeking asylum in the United States if they have traveled through a third "safe country" en route to the American border, unless they also applied for asylum in that country.

The goal of the rule is to close the gap between initial screenings and hearings.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented.

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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", wrote Justice Sotomayor in the dissent.

The justices said the administration can apply the policy while a legal challenge goes forward.

The Supreme Court ruling is temporary but negates an earlier ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in late July. A three-judge panel of the ninth USA circuit court of appeals narrowed Tigar's order so that it applied only in Arizona and California, states that are within the ninth circuit.

The policy overturns long-standing convention that the USA hears asylum claims however people have arrived at the border.

Tigar reinstated the injunction Monday evening after opponents of the asylum ban presented the court with new evidence. The ninth circuit again narrowed his order on Tuesday. It only allows the rule to stand while the court hears the whole case against it.

Migrant advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), argued that the administration implemented the rule without abiding by administrative law requirements, such public notice and comment.

"The lives of thousands of families are at stake", Gelernt said in a statement.

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