Immigration Law

With four justices dissenting, Supreme Court won't lift injunction blocking Trump's new asylum restrictions

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday refused to allow President Donald Trump to begin implementing a new policy that allows asylum claims only by immigrants entering the country through points of entry.

The Supreme Court denied the administration’s request for a stay of a nationwide injunction that had blocked the new asylum restrictions, report the New York Times, the National Law Journal and the Washington Post.

Four justices dissented, indicating they would have allowed the asylum restrictions to take effect. They are Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Trump’s policy would not allow asylum claims by those who illegally cross the Southern border.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar of San Francisco had issued a temporary restraining order that blocked the asylum restrictions from taking effect in November, and the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in a Dec. 7 decision. Tigar replaced the TRO with a preliminary injunction on Thursday.

Trump had criticized Tigar after his initial decision, calling him an “Obama judge.” That brought a rare statement from Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who said, “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.”

The 9th Circuit said in its 2-1 decision that federal law requires the United States to accept asylum applications from any immigrant “whether or not at a designated port of arrival.”

Arguing for the administration, Solicitor General Noel Francisco had told the Supreme Court that the policy was justified by a surge of dangerous and illegal border crossings.

The case is Trump v. East Bay Sanctuary.

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