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Asylum-seekers wait in line to receive breakfast outside a temporary shelter on November 24, 2018 in Tijuana, Mexico. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

In Defeat for Trump's Xenophobic Agenda, Supreme Court Rejects 'Immoral' Anti-Asylum Policy

"The Trump administration can no longer discriminate against asylum-seekers based on how they entered the country."

Jake Johnson

In what immigrant rights groups celebrated as a significant victory over President Donald Trump's xenophobic agenda, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the White House cannot automatically deny asylum to those who don't enter the country through an "official" border crossing.

"The Trump administration can no longer discriminate against asylum-seekers based on how they entered the country," RAICES, the largest immigration legal services non-profit in Texas, wrote on Twitter. "This government's policy of clogging ports of entry and then punishing those who cross outside is immoral. We're glad it's beginning to crumble."

In its 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that blocked the Trump administration's asylum rule from taking effect. Conservative Justice John Roberts joined the court's four liberal justices in denying the Trump administration's plea to allow the policy to move forward, while Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the White House.

As the ACLU noted in its legal brief to the Supreme Court, those "fleeing persecution" in their home countries are "desperate" and often have "no understanding of the option to apply for asylum at a port, are forced by gangs and others to enter away from designated ports of entry, or cannot realistically travel to such ports because of danger and distance."

While noting that the legal battle over the Trump administration's policy is far from over, Bloomberg observed that "the high court rebuff of Trump's request to block the order suggests skepticism about the administration's legal case."

"The disputed Trump policy, designed to apply for 90 days, would effectively require all asylum claims to be made at official ports of entry," Bloomberg noted. "Federal immigration law says people may apply for asylum 'whether or not at a designated port of arrival' and 'irrespective of such alien's status.'"


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Research Reveals How PR Firms Have Spent Decades Fueling Climate Misinformation

"The best time to stop working for fossil fuel clients was 20 years ago, when we had much more time to stop the climate emergency. The second best time is now."

Jessica Corbett ·


Progressives Decry US Gun Control Failures After 'Truly Sickening' Michigan School Shooting

"A 15-year-old shooter may have picked up the weapon, but Congress—through its inaction on gun violence—may as well have handed it to him."

Brett Wilkins ·


New Climate Study Predicting More Rain Than Snow in the Arctic 'Rings Alarm Bells'

"There are huge ramifications of these changes," said the lead researcher, "all of which have implications on wildlife populations and human livelihoods."

Jessica Corbett ·


Durbin Introduces Amendment to End 'Legacy of Cruelty' by Closing Guantánamo

"It's time at long last to face reality and... close the detention facility at Guantánamo. Let's put this dark chapter behind us once and for all."

Brett Wilkins ·


With SCOTUS Set to Hear Abortion Case, Anti-Choice Groups Prepare to Enact 'Post-Roe Strategy'

Right-wing groups are lobbying lawmakers to pass state-level restrictions and ban sales of abortion pills, should Roe v. Wade be overturned.

Julia Conley ·

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