US Supreme Court backs Trump on asylum crackdown

US Supreme Court backs Trump on asylum crackdown

In a victory for President Donald Trump, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the administration to enforce a new rule created to sharply limit who can apply for asylum at the U.S. -Mexico border.

The rule, a joint effort by the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security, restricts access to the US asylum system for non-Mexican migrants who traveled through Mexico and other countries to reach the southwestern border - but did not seek protection in those nations.

The Supreme Court's ruling temporarily allows the policy to go into effect while the Trump administration deals with other legal challenges against the requirement.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented, writing that court's decision disregards "longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution".

Wednesday's order is a victory for the Trump administration, which argued the rule was necessary to screen out "asylum seekers who declined to request protection at the first opportunity".

On Monday, Tigar issued a new order reimposing a nationwide hold on asylum policy.

The top court stayed a decision by a lower court that had blocked the restrictions, which declare ineligible for asylum any migrants who enter the United States from the southern border and who have not asked for asylum protection in any of the countries they crossed to get to there. This means almost everyone from Central America, Africa, or anywhere else who went through Mexico to get to the United States can be denied asylum on the spot if they cannot demonstrate they first applied for asylum in Mexico and were denied.

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In July, Obama-appointed U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco blocked the White House ban.

Many Central Americans who have travelled to the USA border over the past year have told Al Jazeera they were fleeing violence, poverty and political persecution.

"We're hopeful we'll prevail at the end of the day", said Gelernt.

She also said, "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".

Administration officials have maintained that the rule would help curb what they call "forum shopping" by migrants.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had previously said the injunction could only reach as far as its jurisdiction, which includes nine states.

The policy overturns long-standing convention that the USA hears asylum claims however people have arrived at the border.

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