WASHINGTON D.C. (KETK) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday evening allowed the Trump administration to deny asylum requests to migrants who had not first applied for it in another country.
The order means that migrants from countries such as Honduras or Guatemala cannot seek asylum in the U.S. if they didn’t try first in another nation such as Mexico.
The ruling is not the final say in the case, but the high court is allowing the policy to go forward while a lawsuit to stop it works its way through lower courts.
Only Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented, writing that the court acted too swiftly and should allow the case to go through the normal judicial proceedings.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco said that the new policy allows immigration officials to concentrate on asylum seekers who most need protection.
“The rule thus screens out asylum seekers who declined to request protection at their first opportunity.”Noel Francisco, Solicitor General
Asylum is humanitarian relief granted by a country that is recognized under international law. Because the U.S. has signed an international asylum treaty, it is obligated to provide protection and certain rights to people who arrive at the border seeking asylum.
Immigration courts face an enormous backlog of 436,000 asylum requests. Francisco said that it is reasonable to ask whether those applicants “genuinely fear prosecution or torture, or are simply economic migrants.”
The policy was initially blocked by a San Francisco judge back in July. It was met with an immediate appeal by the Trump administration.
It is the second Supreme Court victory this summer for the President. Back in July, the court allowed the administration to divert Pentagon construction money towards funding a border wall between Mexico and the U.S.