The Supreme Court on Wednesday approved President Trump‘s request to allow the administration to enforce its new asylum rule even as it is challenged in the courts.
The order is a victory for Trump, who has vowed to take action to stem the tide of immigrants at the southern border, most of whom are coming from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
The new asylum rules are expected to severely cut down on the number of immigrants from Central America who can request asylum in the United States, essentially preventing many of those coming from that region to do so.
They would make people seeking asylum who pass through another country before the United States ineligible unless they first seek asylum in the country through which they are traveling.
“Once again the Executive Branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution,” Sotomayor wrote in the dissenting argument.
Sotomayor added that she believed the government didn’t take the necessary steps when attempting to implement the rule, saying it didn’t allow for public input. She also criticized the administration for asking the Supreme Court to intervene in the decisions of lower courts.
“This is an extraordinary request,” she wrote. “Unfortunately, the Court acquiesces. Because I do not believe the Government has met its weighty burden for such relief, I would deny the stay.”
Trump, meanwhile, immediately celebrated the court’s decision on Twitter, calling it a “WIN for the Border on Asylum!”
BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum! https://t.co/9Ka00qK1Ob
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2019
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley lauded the decision for allowing the administration to “implement important, needed fixes to the broken asylum system.”
“This greatly helps build on the progress we’ve made addressing the crisis at our southern border and will ultimately make American communities safer,” he added.
The rule in question was unveiled by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security in mid-July. It states that those seeking asylum at the southern border with Mexico who pass through another country will not be eligible for asylum unless if they do not seek it in the country they pass through.
The rule does grant some exceptions, including for victims of trafficking and those who are denied asylum in other countries, but is expected to considerably reduce the number of asylum claims.
Following the rule’s announcement, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar issued a primary injunction preventing the enforcement of the rule after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Southern Poverty Law Center and Center for Constitutional Rights challenged the proposed change.
The California-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Tigar’s decision in August but limited their decision to apply to only the border states in their jurisdiction: California and Arizona.
The White House then turned to the Supreme Court to get approval for the rule. The government argued in an August filing that the rule “alleviates a crushing burden on the U.S. asylum system by prioritizing asylum seekers who most need asylum in the United States.”
Tigar re-established a nationwide ban on the asylum rule Monday, prompting the administration to ask the court to lift the order stopping it from implementing the rule again Tuesday.
The Supreme Court had previously rejected a request from the administration in December to restrict those crossing the border illegally from applying for asylum after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an administration ask to delay a judge’s block on the policy.