Published: Mon, December 24, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Supreme Court denies Trump's request to reinstate asylum ban

Supreme Court denies Trump's request to reinstate asylum ban

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh said they would have granted the stay. This was in reaction to the caravan of migrants who had been working their way up through Central America, on their way to the USA border.

A group of Republican former Justice Department officials, including two former acting attorneys general and a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, told the Supreme Court that would be just a clever way around the law.

"The Supreme Court doesn't like to be rushed, and Chief Justice Roberts in particular doesn't like to be rushed", said Toobin.

Tigar's ruling prompted Trump to criticize him as an "Obama judge", and Trump predicted that the government would "win that case in the Supreme Court of the United States".

He said that contrary to the holding of the lower court, immigration law allows the attorney general and the secretary of homeland security to exercise their discretion to deny asylum to a migrant who has entered the nation illegally.

"Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States", the relevant federal statute says, may apply for asylum - "whether or not at a designated port of arrival".

The high court action followed a ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar that kept the ban on hold pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging it.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined his four more liberal colleagues Friday in ruling against the administration in the very case in which President Donald Trump had derided the "Obama judge" who first blocked the asylum policy. "Just as we may not, as we are often reminded, 'legislate from the bench, ' neither may the Executive legislate from the Oval Office", wrote Judge Jay S. Bybee, a conservative jurist appointed by US President George W. Bush.

This week, the USA announced that it would send some asylum seekers back to Mexico to wait out their immigration hearings, a move rights groups say will put migrants and refugees in danger.

In the Trump administration's application for a stay pending appeal, Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco wrote that the guidelines Trump had attempted to put into place "are created to channel asylum seekers to ports of entry, where their claims can be processed in an orderly manner; deter unlawful and unsafe border crossings; and reduce the backlog of meritless asylum claims". Congress would not have "swung the door open for potential asylum for those who entered illegally, while simultaneously authorizing the [executive branch] to slam that door shut at any time for any reason".

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco blocked the policy on November 19.

The Justice Department expressed disappointment with the decision, saying the 25 nationwide injunctions against Mr Trump administration policies were "unprecedented".

"The Supreme Court's decision to leave the asylum ban blocked will save lives and keep vulnerable families and children from persecution", Gelernt said in a statement.

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