Friday, 20 September, 2019

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Broad Enforcement of Asylum Limits

Supreme Court clears the way for new asylum restrictions to take effect Supreme Court Gives Green Light To Trump Administration's Asylum Rules
Deanna Wagner | 12 September, 2019, 14:43

The Supreme Court is allowing nationwide enforcement of a new Trump administration rule that prevents most Central American migrants from seeking asylum in the United States. (Such an agreement exists with Canada, but not with Mexico.) "The current ban would eliminate virtually all asylum at the southern border, even at ports of entry, for everyone except Mexicans (who do not need to transit through a third country to reach the United States)", the A.C.L.U. noted in a statement.

The administration announced in July a new policy that would deny asylum to anyone who passes through another country on their way to the US without seeking protection there first, therefore effecting nearly all migrants who arrive at the US-Mexico border. The administration has claimed that it would like to shut the gap in between an preliminary asylum screening that most people today move and a ultimate determination on asylum that most men and women do not acquire.

"We are gravely disappointed the nation's highest court has lifted an injunction on a policy that-by barring asylum to anyone, including families and unaccompanied children who passes through a third country, is contrary to long-established U.S. practice", it said.

Illegal immigrant families turn themselves to U.S. Border Patrol to seek asylum following an illegal crossing of the Rio Grande in Hidalgo, Texas, on August 23, 2019.

The administration's new policy says that those truly seeking asylum could ask for it in Mexico, which is deemed a safe country.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court allowed the administration to enforce these rules, which are effectively created to deter asylum applications from Hondurans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans.

Boris Johnson knocks back Nigel Farage’s election pact
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The court announced on Wednesday evening it would allow the enforcement of the new rules, pending government appeal of two decisions in the 9th Circuit Court.

Under the rule, people arriving via a third country must claim asylum there first before arriving at the U.S. border.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar had blocked the Trump administration's approach. But it would apply to the majority of asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and elsewhere in South America.

It's unclear how quickly the policy will be rolled out and how exactly it fits in with the other efforts by the administration to restrict border crossings and tighten asylum rules. Under the new policy, they would fail the test unless they sought asylum in at least one country they traveled through and were denied.

The rule change overturns long-standing convention that the United States hears asylum claims no matter how people have arrived at the border.

But he also called Wednesday's order "just a temporary step", saying, "We're hopeful we will prevail at the end of the day". "The lives of thousands of families are at stake". The issue is likely to come back to the Supreme Court when the ongoing legal challenges have been completed in lower courts.