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

Donald J. Trump

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday granted a request by President Donald Trump's administration to fully enforce a new rule that would curtail asylum applications by immigrants at the US-Mexico border, a key element of his hard-line immigration policies.

Only about one in five of the cases will eventually be granted asylum, analysts say, but that decision could come years down the road, by which time the migrants have disappeared into the shadows.

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

With only two dissenters, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayer, this opens the door for the rule to be applied across the nation.

Most people crossing the southern border are Central People fleeing violence and poverty.

With less hope of gaining access to the interior, this rule is very likely to dissuade many asylum-seekers from making the long journey to the United States border.

In late July, the justices cleared the way by a 5-4 vote for Trump to spend $2.5 billion from the military budget to pay for border wall construction.

The US Supreme Court has given the go-ahead to Trump administration plans that severely limit the ability of migrants to claim asylum.


A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit later restricted Tigar's order to apply only to Arizona and California, which are within the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit.

The rule, a joint effort by the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security, restricts access to the USA asylum system for non-Mexican migrants who traveled through Mexico and other countries to reach the southwestern border - but did not seek protection in those nations.

When it was unveiled this year in July it was nearly immediately blocked from taking effect so the move is being seen as a victory for the Trump administration in USA media. The administration has said that it wants to close the gap between an initial asylum screening that most people pass and a final decision on asylum that most people do not win.

He said that nationwide injunctions, create an "unfair, one-way system in which the democratically accountable government must fend off case after case to put its policy into effect, while those challenging the policy need only find a single sympathetic judge".

Last week, Attorney General William Barr condemned nationwide injunctions in an opinion piece, signaling the Trump administration might be preparing to go after the practice before the Supreme Court.

"It alleviates a crushing burden on the US asylum system by prioritizing asylum seekers who most need asylum in the United States", Francisco wrote in the brief order. "The lives of thousands of families are at stake", said Lee Gelernt, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who is representing immigrant advocacy groups in the case.

"This is just a temporary step, and we're hopeful we'll prevail at the end of the day, " he said in a statement.

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