Supreme Court Lets New Trump Asylum Restrictions Take Effect

he Supreme Court will allow the Trump administration to enforce new immigration rules against asylum-seekers at the southern border.

The high court did not give reasons for its Wednesday night decision or disclose a vote count, as is typical of orders of this nature. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a short dissent, which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined.

In effect, the restrictions deny asylum to migrants who pass through another country on their way to the U.S. without first seeking protected status there. The Border Patrol has intercepted approximately 350,000 asylum-seekers from the northern triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in 2019. Trumpís restrictions would generally deny asylum to those migrants if they did not first seek protection in Mexico.

The rule includes exceptions for victims of human trafficking or migrants who were denied asylum elsewhere.

A coalition of migrant and civil rights groups challenged the new rules in federal court. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) represents the plaintiffs. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar entered an injunction forbidding the government from enforcing the rules across the country in July.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed Tigarís injunction, saying it could take effect within the 9th Circuitís jurisdiction, but not beyond it. That meant that the third-country transit bar could be applied to migrants intercepted in New Mexico or Texas, but not Arizona and California. The 9th Circuit also said Tigar could reimpose a nationwide injunction if he made additional factual findings supporting such a move. Tigar did so and restored a nationwide injunction against the contested rule Monday.

The ACLU styled Trumpís rules an ďasylum banĒ before the Supreme Court. The organization said it violates two federal laws: the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

The INA establishes a general rule that all-comers may apply for asylum, the ACLU argued. Though there are narrow circumstances in which asylum can be denied based on the availability of a third-party alternative, the ACLU believes those conditions are not met here. The plaintiffs also say the new rules should have been subject to a public notice and comment period.

The ACLU connected the current dispute to the administrationís earlier attempts to change asylum rules. In practice, that proposal would have refused asylum to migrants who enter the country illegally. The administration asked the Supreme Court to let those rules take effect, but the justices refused on a 5-4 vote in December 2018.

ďLike the first ban, this second ban would upend a forty-year unbroken status quo established when Congress first enacted the asylum laws in 1980,Ē the ACLU told the justices in court papers. ďBut this second ban is far more extreme than the first. The first one at least allowed individuals who presented themselves at a port of entry to apply for asylum. The current ban would eliminate virtually all asylum at the southern border, even at ports of entry, for everyone except Mexicans.Ē

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My Thoughts:

GREAT, itís about time someone had some common sense, that when they travel through another country besides their own that itís those countries that they should request asylum, when they are no longer affected from the danger that they are running from.