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Supreme Court Enhances Trump Admin's Power to Deport Some Asylum Seekers

06-25-2020
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ABOVE: Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum appeared on the Thursday afternoon edition of CBN's Newswatch to talk about what kind of difference the ruling will make. Newswatch is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel

The Supreme Court on Thursday strengthened the Trump administration's ability to deport people seeking asylum without allowing them to make their case to a federal judge.

The justices ruled 7-2 in favor of allowing the administration to quickly deport some asylum seekers instead of letting them argue in federal court.

The decision will apply to those picked up at or near the border and who fail an initial asylum screening, making them likely for quick deportation. 

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the court's opinion, which reversed a lower-court ruling that said asylum-seekers must have access to the federal courts.  

Congress acted properly in creating a system "for weeding out patently meritless claims and expeditiously removing the aliens making such claims from the country," Alito wrote.

He noted that in the last five years, three-quarters of those seeking to claim asylum have passed their initial screening and qualified for a full review.

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Even left-leaning Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer agreed with the outcome in this case but did not join Alito's opinion.

Cornell University law professor Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration expert, said the decision lends support to broader administration action on asylum.

"Justice Alito used sweeping language in his majority opinion upholding Congress's efforts to limit due process for arriving immigrants. While not necessary to the precise holding in the case, the Trump administration is sure to use such language to justify its broader efforts to restrict asylum seekers," Yale-Loehr said.
    
The ACLU protested the decision, saying it will make it more difficult to question the actions of immigration officials at the border.

The decision comes as the Trump administration works to reform the asylum system, saying it's full of abuse and meritless claims. On Monday, the Trump administration published sweeping new procedural and substantive rules that would make it much more difficult to get asylum, triggering a 30-day period for public comment before they can take effect.

Tragedy for Those Fleeing Religious Persecution?
 
On Thursday CBN Newswatch PM, National Immigration Forum Executive Director Ali Noorani said of the decision, "Well, practically speaking, the Trump administration has really closed off our nation's asylum system.  And this is a tragedy for those who, for example, are fleeing religious persecution around the world.   For the Supreme Court to in essence remove any ability for someone to appeal their 'credible fear' interview, I think just really undermines our nation's values.  And if there's anything that we stand for as a nation, it should be that we seek to protect those who are persecuted for their faith, their nationality, their political affiliation."
 
The Court's ruling comes as the Trump administration works to reform the asylum system, saying it's full of abuse and meritless claims.
 
Noorani said of that, "I think that the asylum system up till this point, up till I'd say the last two or three years, has had several checks and balances in place, so that asylum seekers could go through a process; that they would have to meet certain very clear criteria in terms of their fear of persecution in their home country.   But the administration has been led to believe that there is apparent fraud."
 
Noorani rejected that, saying, "This fraud just does not exist when you actually look at the data.   So as a result of the ruling and the policy changes that the administration has moved forward with, the asylum system really is grinding to a halt.  And those who are within the country and seeking asylum, it is frankly much, much harder for them to thrive, much less make sure their families can survive."

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