SCOTUS hands Trump win on expedited removal for asylum seekers

The Supreme Court handed a big win this week to President Donald Trump and supporters of his tough immigration policies.

In a 7-2 ruling, the court said Thursday that those seeking asylum in America “do not have to be given a federal court hearing before quick removal from the United States” if they fail to establish a credible claim of asylum, USA Today reported.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinionUSA Today reported, and was joined by fellow conservative-leaning jurists Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, John Roberts, and Clarence Thomas, as well as Democrat-appointed Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The case at hand

Justices Elana Kagen and Sonia Sotomayor were the only two jurists to dissent, according to USA Today. At issue in the case was an asylum claim from a Sri Lankan man named Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam, who had crossed the into the U.S. illegally and been apprehended a mere 25 yards from the Mexico border, USA Today noted.

Thuraissigiam claimed asylum, asserting that he faced potential persecution in his home country because he is what USA Today described as “a member of Sri Lanka’s Tamil ethnic minority,” which, according to the outlet, “faces beatings and torture at the hands of the government.”

Thuraissigiam’s application for asylum was soon denied by immigration officials as well as an immigration judge, which prompted him to file a lawsuit claiming that his due process rights had been violated and that he deserved a chance for his case to be heard in the federal court system.

SCOTUS weighs in

The Supreme Court, however, disagreed. “An alien … has only those rights regarding admission that Congress has provided by statute,” Alito wrote in the majority opinion, according to Breitbart.

“An alien who tries to enter the country illegally is treated an an ‘applicant for admission,’ an alien who is detained shortly after unlawful entry cannot be said to have ‘effected an [legal] entry.”

As reported by USA Today, Alito continued:

While aliens who have established connections in this country have due process rights in deportation proceedings, the court long ago held that Congress is entitled to set the conditions for an alien’s lawful entry into this country and that, as a result, an alien at the threshold of initial entry cannot claim any greater rights under the Due Process Clause.

In other words, if an asylum applicant who entered the country illegally fails to clear the initial threshold of establishing a so-called “credible fear of persecution,” then they can be put on the “fast-track” for removal, the justices argued.

The bottom line

As could be expected, fans of open borders were outraged over the decision, and many on the left have since decried it as a move that will allow the Trump administration to deny asylum to would-be immigrants without any sort of due process or judicial review.

That isn’t exactly the case, as Alito noted, but this ruling does mean that illegal migrants who fail to initially establish a valid reason for why they should be allowed to stay will no longer be permitted to tie up the court system for years in a bid to delay the inevitable. And more government efficiency is never a bad thing.

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