/Supreme Court allows Trump asylum restriction to proceed

Supreme Court allows Trump asylum restriction to proceed

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed two decisions by a federal judge that blocked implementation of President Donald Trump’s policy barring asylum for migrants who pass through another country en route to the U.S.

The order allows the policy, which is expected to reduce drastically asylum granted to Central American migrants, to be implemented nationwide. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Tuesday evening temporarily froze a lower court’s injunction against the policy.

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The Supreme Court’s decision grants a short-term victory to President Donald Trump and immigration hawks. The policy, issued as a fast-track regulation in July, was twice blocked by a district court in San Francisco.

“BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum!,” Trump tweeted Wednesday evening.

The Supreme Court stay will terminate if the high court later declines to take up the case. In the meantime, litigation will proceed in the lower court challenge before U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar.

Justice Sonya Sotomayor dissented, saying she would have retained the nationwide injunction against the asylum ban. She was joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Sotomayor stressed that the regulation — issued as an “interim final rule” — didn’t undergo a period of public comment before taking effect.

“It is especially concerning, moreover, that the rule the government promulgated topples decades of settled asylum practices and affects some of the most vulnerable people in the Western Hemisphere — without affording the public a chance to weigh in,” she wrote.

Sotomayor called the Trump administration’s request to halt the lower court’s nationwide injunction an “extraordinary” step.

“Unfortunately, the court acquiesces,” she wrote. “Because I do not believe the government has met its weighty burden for such relief, I would deny the stay.”

Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.

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