WASHINGTON—Supporters of asylum reform were emboldened on Wednesday night after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Trump administration rule that would fundamentally change the way asylum cases are treated at the southern border.
The new asylum directive, known as the Transit Rule, makes non-Mexican foreign nationals claiming asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border ineligible for asylum unless they first applied for protection under Mexican refugee law. A federal district court in California had issued a nationwide injunction against the rule. Last night, the Supreme Court stayed—that is, suspended—that injunction.
The high court’s decision means the Transit Rule will remain in effect as the cases against it wind their way through the courts—and the Trump administration will have a chance to make headway in ending the border emergency.
Attorneys for the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, arguing for the substantive validity of the Transit Rule.
“This is a big victory for anyone who seeks an immigration policy in the best interests of our country,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “For too long, those who do not meet the standard for asylum have exploited gaps in the system as a back-door into the U.S. That is unsustainable, and this move by the Trump administration will staunch the flow of baseless claims, allowing our nation to return to a system that serves asylum’s true purpose.”
The case is Barr v. East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, No. 19A230 (Supreme Court).
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Photo: by Gage Skidmore