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Supreme Court rejects Trump bid to enforce asylum crackdown

Supreme Court rejects Trump bid to enforce asylum crackdown

In a proclamation issued on November 9, President Trump barred migrants from applying for asylum unless they made the request at a legal checkpoint. The legal fight on that could return to the Supreme Court.

Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the Supreme Court that the policy had important goals - "channeling asylum seekers to ports of entry for orderly processing, discouraging unsafe and illegal entries between ports of entry, reducing the backlog of meritless asylum claims, and facilitating diplomatic negotiations".

Lower courts blocked the initiative, ruling that a federal law plainly allowed asylum applications from people who had entered the country unlawfully.

Current federal law says that anyone can request asylum "whether or not at a designated port of arrival" and "irrespective of such alien's status".

Last month, Roberts had rebuked Trump for his criticism of the judiciary and spoken out strongly in defense of its independence: "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges", Roberts had said. A federal judge in California quickly blocked the order, and the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.

The immigration system, the statement stressed, "is being overwhelmed by migration" through the U.S. -Mexico border: Immigrants who enter the United States illegally and try to claim asylum are often allowed to stay in the United States while their cases are being considered, making it very hard to deport them later. "That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for".

This week, the U.S. 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. Migrants who cross illegally, he said, would be held until deportation.

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Lyle Denniston has been writing about the Supreme Court since 1958.

"For nearly 40 years, Congress has not disturbed the fundamental rule that an individual fleeing persecution can apply for asylum between ports, even when the number of apprehensions between ports was significantly higher", the groups argued.

ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt praised the decision. "We are pleased the court refused to allow the administration to short-circuit the usual appellate process".

The U.S Supreme Court has just dealt a significant blow to President Donald Trump's attempt to thwart asylum-seekers.

Administration officials said Trump had the authority to institute the new rule in the same way he had authority to implement a travel ban to people from majority Muslim countries.

Evidence in the case, it said, showed that those "fleeing persecution are desperate and often unsophisticated, have no understanding of the option to apply for asylum at a port, are forced by gangs and others to enter away from designated ports of entry, or can not realistically travel to such ports because of danger and distance".