Saturday, October 19, 2019

Supreme Court to Consider Challenge to Quick Deportations of Some Seeking Asylum

Photo: veronica cardenas/Reuters
Case stems from petition from Sri Lankan man who argued he hadn’t been given a meaningful opportunity to make his plea for asylum
The Supreme Court agreed to consider whether asylum seekers who cross into the U.S. illegally can challenge government efforts to quickly deport them.
The justices, in a one-line order, said Friday they would hear a Trump-administration appeal of a ruling that said migrants can go to court to contest government determinations that they are ineligible for asylum and should be removed swiftly.
The administration said the ruling had undermined “the government’s ability to control the border” and subverted a legal provision that says migrants ordered for expedited removal can’t go to court.
In a separate case, the Supreme Court announced it would review deportation litigation against a Lebanese immigrant who says he will be tortured if returned to his home country.
The appeals add more high-stakes immigration cases to a docket that already has several. The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments next month on whether the Trump administration acted lawfully when it canceled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama-era immigration program. Known as DACA, the initiative provided protections and work permits to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.
Earlier this week, the high court considered state identity-fraud prosecutions against immigrants who provide false Social Security numbers when applying for jobs.
The new asylum case centers on a Sri Lankan man of Tamil ethnicity who fled to Latin America after allegedly facing political persecution in his home country. Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam crossed the border into the U.S. near San Diego in 2017 and soon after was apprehended by a border-patrol agent. An asylum officer and immigration judge each rejected his claims, and he was slated for expedited removal.
Mr. Thuraissigiam then filed a petition in federal court to challenge the proceedings, arguing he hadn’t been given a meaningful opportunity to make his case for asylum. (Immigration judges serve in the Justice Department, not the federal judiciary.)
Courts in most circumstances are barred by statute from reviewing expedited-removal orders, but the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Constitution didn’t allow Congress to suspend access to the federal courts for people in Mr. Thuraissigiam’s circumstances.
The Supreme Court will review that decision in early 2020, with a decision expected by June.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE.

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