Supreme Court Quashes District Court’s National Injunction on Asylum Policy

Enlarge this image

Enlarge this image

The Trump administration, of course, has no interest in granting asylum to brown-skinned people from what the president so derisively dismissed as "shithole countries".

But Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee, and Zoe Lofgren, the head of the judiciary panel's immigration subcommittee, called the court's decision disappointing.

With this policy in place, it doesn't take much of an imagination to see human-smuggling rings turning to ships to deposit asylum seekers on us soil without crossing through Mexico, in the process recreating in the Gulf of Mexico the kind of problems Europe is facing from migrants sailing across the Mediterranean from North Africa.

"This is the ruling by the court, it's a USA issue, and obviously we don't agree with it, we have a different policy", Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told a news conference.

According to heads of migrant shelters and aid groups in Tamaulipas state, which borders Texas cities such as Laredo and Brownsville, asylum-seekers who are stuck south of the border in Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros are camped out by the Rio Grande and in the streets.

The court said the rule, which requires most immigrants who want asylum to first seek safe haven in a third country through which they had travelled on their way to the United States, could go into effect as litigation challenging its legality continues.

Speaking at President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's daily news conference, Ebrard said that Mexico has a different policy when it comes to asylum seekers and would never implement such a rule.

On Aug. 16 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Tigar's injunction but limited its application to the territorial jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit. Tigar issued a new order on Monday that reimposed a nationwide hold on asylum policy.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion which was joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"The court's order was a major victory for the administration", the Times noted, "allowing it to enforce a policy that will achieve one of its central goals: effectively barring most migration across the nation's southwestern border by Hondurans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and others".

It also accepted the expansion of the "Remain in Mexico" policy, under which the U.S. has sent more than 40,000 asylum applicants back across the border to wait in Mexico.

Opponents argue the policy violates worldwide law by forcing people fleeing for their lives to seek refuge in countries where they may also be in danger. They would be placed in fast-track deportation proceedings and flown to their home countries at USA expense.

The issue is nearly certain to rise up the legal food chain once again until it returns to the supreme court for a full hearing that would settle the question once and for all.

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. "The lives of thousands of families are at stake".