Supreme Court allows Trump asylum rules enforcement

Donald J. Trump

Donald J. Trump

The Trump administration in July issued rules preventing most migrants who pass through another country before reaching the United States from seeking asylum.

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

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

The court's ruling handed a victory to Trump.

In December, a divided Supreme Court refused to let Trump start automatically rejecting all asylum claims by people who cross the southern border illegally. It represents the latest effort by Trump's administration to crack down on illegal immigration, a signature issue during his presidency and 2020 re-election bid.

Unveiled in July, the policy was blocked from taking effect by US District Judge Jon Tigar in California nearly right away.

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 administration announced this new rule back in mid-July, but a federal judge in California issued a nationwide injunction against its implementation about 10 days later. The court would then determine whether a stay should remain in effect.

Under the rule, migrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala will automatically be denied asylum in the USA unless their applications for asylum in Mexico are rejected.

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

Most migrants attempting to cross the southern border through Mexico and Central America are fleeing violence and poverty, but the majority of them are ineligible under the new rule, according to experts.

Legal challenges against it continue but the ruling means for now it can be enforced nationwide. They accused the administration of pursuing an "asylum ban" and jeopardizing the safety and security of migrants fleeing persecution and seeking safety in the United States. "The rule thus screens out asylum seekers who declined to request protection at their first opportunity", said Solicitor General Noel Francisco.

Groups that assist asylum seekers filed a lawsuit and argued the policy was barred by federal law establishing how people can seek asylum. "The current ban would eliminate virtually all asylum at the southern border, even at ports of entry, for everyone except Mexicans".

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