On Friday, Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s request to immediately enforce a new policy to deny asylum to those who illegally cross the U.S. Mexico border. Originally enacted on November 8 using Presidential authority granted by Congress, the new policy stated that aliens who cross the southern border without going through a Port of Entry will be rendered ineligible for asylum. This ruling forced all migrants to request asylum at legal points of entry and prevent them from claiming asylum if caught crossing the border illegally. The administration argued that those who cross into the country illegally could still apply for asylum, but their illegal passage would be a reason to deny it.
When the case was brought to the district courts, Judge Jon Tigar said federal law doesn’t allow the president to make such changes. The statute says an asylum application must be accepted from any alien “physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States whether or not at a designated port of arrival . . . irrespective of such alien’s status.” This ruling caused the Trump administration to urge the Supreme Court to issue a stay of Judge Tigar’s ruling, saying the president was authorized to address border security by imposing the new policy. The stay was overturned 5 to 4.
Asylum is a humanitarian immigration benefit intended to protect people from persecution if returned to their country of nationality. As of right now, and previously before the November 8 policy was enacted, anyone has the right to claim asylum, regardless of how they entered the United States. To learn more about the current asylum program, please click here.
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