The Supreme Court handed the Trump administration a big win Wednesday afternoon, after two injunctions against asylum restrictions were struck down. The ruling means that US Customs and Border Protection can immediately begin denying migrants asylum at the southern border if they haven’t first applied for safe haven in a “third country” while the greater legal battle over the issue plays out in the lower courts.
Dissenting from Wednesday’s decision were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.
#BREAKING: #SCOTUS grants stay of both July 24 and September 9 injunctions against Trump administration rule barring asylum from those who didn’t first apply in a “third country”; allows controversial policy to go into effect on a nationwide basis pending the government’s appeal. pic.twitter.com/Jpni90wsXG
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) September 11, 2019
San Francisco Federal Judge Jon Tigar issued a preliminary injunction in July blocking the policy after a coalition of migrant and civil rights groups represented by the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the rules in court, while the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed Tigar’s injunction – relegating it to within the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction. According to the Daily Wire‘s Kevin Daley, “That meant that the third-country transit bar could be applied to migrants intercepted in New Mexico or Texas, but not Arizona and California,” adding that “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 Trump’s rules an “asylum ban” before the Supreme Court. The organization claims 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. –Daily Wire
Approximately 350,000 asylum-seekers have been arrested year-to-date, hailing primarily from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
The case is No. 19A230 Barr v. East Bay Sanctuary Covenant.