U.S. Supreme Court

Remain-in-Mexico policy for asylum-seekers will be reviewed by Supreme Court

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to review a Trump administration policy that requires asylum-seekers at the southern border to remain in Mexico while their cases are pending.

At issue is whether the policy violates federal law, whether the policy is exempt from administrative notice-and-comment requirements, and whether a universal preliminary injunction issued by a federal judge is overbroad.

In February, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco had upheld an injunction blocking the policy. The appeals court said the plaintiffs had shown a likelihood of success on their arguments that the policy is inconsistent with federal law and in violation of treaty obligations.

In March, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to continue to require asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico during the litigation.

The Department of Justice argues that the policy, known as Migrant Protection Protocols, is authorized under a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that authorizes the return of immigrants to the contiguous territory from which they arrived, as long as the immigrants are not clearly entitled to admission to the United States.

Those challenging the policy say the contiguous territory provision doesn’t apply to asylum-seekers. They also argue that the policy violates other provisions of the INA that establish a right to apply for asylum and prohibit removal to a country where an asylum-seeker would be subject to persecution.

Among those challenging the policy are 11 asylum-seekers who were forced to wait in Mexico, as well as several immigrant-rights organizations. Representing the plaintiffs are the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies.

An ACLU press release on the cert grant is here.

The case is Wolf v. Innovation Law Lab.

Hat tip to SCOTUSblog, which has coverage of the cert grant, along with the New York Times.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Asylum-seekers deserve greater legal protections and better treatment, declares ABA House”

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