Trump immigration plans: Supreme Court allows curb on migrants

The U.S. Supreme Court building at dusk on Capitol Hill in Washington

The U.S. Supreme Court building at dusk on Capitol Hill in Washington

By a vote of 7-2, the justices said the administration can enforce a rule announced in July requiring migrants to first seek asylum in the country through which they traveled to get to the United States, commonly referred by US officials as "a third country".

The policy, issued in July, was meant to discourage migrants from Central American who have streamed north in recent months, prepared to make iffy asylum claims and counting on the backlogged US system and lax standards for initial asylum claims to earn them a foothold in the U.S.

This is another win for the Trump administration at the Supreme Court which will now be able to enforce a tough new rule limiting who can apply for asylum in the United States.

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

Wednesday's order is a victory for the Trump administration, which argued the rule was necessary to screen out "asylum seekers who declined to request protection at the first opportunity".

As Fox News noted, on Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ended the nationwide injunction against the Trump ban but only did so partially, leaving California, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Idaho, Guam, Oregon and Washington, all within the province of the 9th Circuit, immune from the Trump ban.

The American Civil Liberties Union, representing four nonprofit organizations, sued to challenge the rule, which it said would virtually eliminate asylum at the southern border.

President Trump tweeted that the ruling was a "BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum!".

The administration said the new restriction is needed to respond to "an unprecedented surge" of people who enter the country illegally and seek asylum if they're caught.

U.S. district judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco blocked the new policy from taking effect in late July.

Most people crossing the southern border are Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty.

"This is just a temporary step, and we're hopeful we'll prevail at the end of the day", ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said. Rather than playing cat and mouse with hundreds of thousands of migrants, this new rule allows the administration to stop them before they're released to the interior.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay Tuesday that put the ruling by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar on hold for now.

The rule, unveiled on July 15, requires most immigrants who want United States asylum to first seek asylum in a third country they had travelled through on their way to the US.