The White House lauded Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision to end a U.S. district judge’s injunction that had effectively blocked a new policy that requires asylum seekers who travel through a third country such as Mexico to first seek protection there.
“BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum!” President Trump tweeted.
BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum! https://t.co/9Ka00qK1Ob
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2019
“We are pleased the Supreme Court has ruled our Administration can implement important, needed fixes to the broken asylum system,” Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement after the ruling was announced. “This greatly helps build on the progress we’ve made addressing the crisis at our southern border and will ultimately make American communities safer.”
District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco, an Obama appointee, blocked the new policy from taking effect in July.
“The district court’s erroneous nationwide injunction was another in a series of overreaching orders that allowed a single, non-elected district court judge to override policy decisions for the entire Nation,” Gidley stated. “While there is much more work still to be done, thankfully the Supreme Court took a decisive step here and rejected the lower court’s egregious ruling.”
The Supreme Court’s order allows the policy to take effect and be enforced across the United States while the case challenging its constitutionality proceeds through the court system.
Two liberal Supreme Court justices dissented–Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. “Once again the Executive Branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution,” Sotomayor wrote in their dissenting argument. They expressed disappointment that the court’s majority did not exercise “restraint,” as they intervened in the matter before it was fully resolved in the lower courts.
According to a statement by the Department of Justice, the ruling will “bring order to the crisis at the southern border, close loopholes in our immigration system, and discourage frivolous claims.”
Predictably, Democrats reacted with shock and horror. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Chair Zoe Lofgren, said in a joint statement that they were “gravely disappointed.”
“Lives will be lost,” they stated. “This rule will result in those fleeing fear and persecution to be turned away at our doorstep and will only exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in the [Central American] region. The United States can and must do better.”
In a strange twist to the case, after a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed Tigar’s July order so that it only would apply to Arizona and California–states within the Ninth Circuit–Tigar reimposed his nationwide block on the asylum policy on Monday. He claimed new evidence as his rationale.
The administration objected to Tigar’s latest interference and to the idea that a single judge could issue nationwide injunctions–a growing trend in the courts.
A lone judge should not have the ability to make such a huge impact on immigration policy, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement on Monday. “This ruling is a gift to human smugglers and traffickers and undermines the rule of law,” she added.
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