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Supreme Court: Trump Can Bar Asylum Seekers

Ruling allows nationwide enforcement of limits while legal challenge continues
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 12, 2019 12:18 AM CDT
Asylum seekers walk by an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Mexico.   (AP Photo/Veronica G. Cardenas, File)
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(Newser) – The Supreme Court is allowing nationwide enforcement of a new Trump administration rule that prevents most Central American immigrants from seeking asylum in the United States. The justices' order late Wednesday temporarily undoes a lower-court ruling that had blocked the new asylum policy in some states along the southern border. The policy is meant to deny asylum to anyone who passes through another country on the way to the US without seeking protection there, the AP reports. Most people crossing the southern border are Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty. They are largely ineligible under the new rule, as are the asylum seekers from Africa, Asia, and South America who arrive regularly at the southern border. The shift reverses decades of US policy.

"BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum!" President Trump tweeted. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented from the high-court's order. "Once again, the Executive Branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution," Sotomayor wrote. US District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco blocked the new policy from taking effect in late July. A three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed Tigar's order so that it applied only in Arizona and California. The high-court action allows the administration to impose the new policy everywhere while the court case against it continues, but it's not clear how quickly the policy will be rolled out.

(Read more US-Mexico border stories.)

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