Trump administration can begin enforcing new asylum restrictions, Supreme Court rules

U.S. Supreme Court

The Mexican government protested and Central American migrants feared deportation back to their violent homelands on Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump to slam the door on asylum-seekers at the U.S.

The American Civil Liberties Union and others who challenged the administration's policy in federal court said it violates USA immigration law and accused the administration of failing to follow the correct legal process in issuing the rule, which was unveiled on July 15.

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

Successive Mexican governments have pointed out that illicit arms sales from the United States into Mexico have fueled turf wars between drug gangs and clashes with security forces, exacerbating social problems and adding to migratory pressures.

The decision "greatly helps build on the progress we've made addressing the crisis at our southern border and will ultimately make American communities safer", White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

There are thought to be at least 45,000 Central Americans who have been turned away by United States agents and forced to wait within Mexico while their asylum claims are processed, which can take many months. It would disallow anyone who passes through another country without first seeking and failing to obtain asylum there.

"We have seen outbreaks of acts of xenophobia in Mexico that did not exist before, mainly in the north of the country", said Israel Ibarra, an immigration expert with the Continente Movil consultancy in Tijuana.

That gesture has led to a decline in US apprehensions and rejections of migrants at the border, which totaled 64,000 people in August, down 22% from July and 56% from a high mark in May.

Democrats said the ruling puts people's lives at risk.

"This lawsuit has been proceeding on three tracks: In this court, the parties have litigated the government's stay request".


Curbing migration to the U.S. has been a key goal of his presidency and forms a major part of his bid for re-election in 2020.

"Our policy of refuge, of asylum is a tradition in Mexico", he said.

The change will affect non-Mexican migrants trying to enter through the United States southern border.

The initial rule to block asylum sent shock waves among immigrant rights advocates when it was issued by the Trump administration in July of this year.

Though Guatemala eventually caved to the administration's pressure, and reached a safe third country agreement with the United States, Mexico remained firm in its refusal.

He said relations between the two countries were very good and Trump recognized Mexico's efforts.

Asylum requests at the southern U.S. border are often made by families and unaccompanied children saying they have fled endemic violence and poverty in their countries, and Mahecic insisted that many are "in urgent need of safehaven".

Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard reiterated that Mexico would not become a "third country" for US-bound asylum seekers.

In December, a divided Supreme Court refused to let Trump start automatically rejecting all asylum claims by people who cross the southern border illegally.

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