Jus­tices boost Trump’s power in asy­lum cases

Times Standard (Eureka) - - OBITUARIES -

WASH­ING­TON » 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.

Im­mi­gra­tion ex­perts sug­gested the ad­min­is­tra­tion would use sweep­ing lan­guage in the ma­jor­ity opin­ion to bol­ster broader ef­forts to re­strict asy­lum.

The high court’s 7-2 rul­ing ap­plies to peo­ple who are picked up at or near the bor­der and who fail their ini­tial asy­lum screen­ings, mak­ing them el­i­gi­ble for quick de­por­ta­tion, or ex­pe­dited re­moval.

Jus­tice Sa­muel Al­ito wrote the high-court opin­ion that re­versed a low­er­court 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 more than three-quar­ters of peo­ple who sought to claim asy­lum in the past five years passed their ini­tial screen­ing and qual­i­fied for full-blown re­view.

Jus­tices Ruth Bader Gins­burg and Stephen Breyer agreed with the out­come in this case, but did not join Al­ito’s opin­ion.

In dis­sent, Jus­tice So­nia So­tomayor wrote, “To­day’s de­ci­sion hand­cuffs the Ju­di­ciary’s abil­ity to per­form its con­sti­tu­tional duty to safe­guard in­di­vid­ual lib­erty.” She was joined by Jus­tice Elena Ka­gan.

Lee Gel­ernt, the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union lawyer who ar­gued the case in the Supreme Court, said the out­come will make it hard to ques­tion the ac­tions of im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials at the U.S. bor­der. “This de­ci­sion will im­pact po­ten­tially tens of thou­sands of peo­ple at the bor­der who will not be able to seek re­view of er­ro­neous de­nials of asy­lum,” Gel­ernt said.

J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The Supreme Court is seen in Wash­ing­ton on June 15.

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