Earlier this year, the Trump administration made another change to immigration policy wherein migrants who cross the border to make an asylum claim could be sent back to wait in Mexico more quickly under an expedited review process. The usual list of suspects immediately challenged it in court and, predictably, the Ninth Circuit sided with them, claiming that the policy violated their constitutional rights. On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal and render a final decision. (USA Today)
One of President Donald Trump’s many efforts to crack down on asylum-seekers at the border is headed to the Supreme Court.
The justices agreed Friday to consider the administration’s effort to speed the removal of thousands of migrants without allowing them federal court hearings.
A federal appeals court in California ruled earlier this year that efforts to remove asylum-seekers under “expedited review” procedures violated their constitutional rights. The Justice Department argues that extending the streamlined process could add years of court wrangling.
We’ll get to the prospects for this case in a moment, but first I wanted to take a look at the type of coverage this case is once again receiving in the mainstream press. The USA Today reporter depicts this policy the way we hear it portrayed on cable news and in the nation’s larger newspapers on a regular basis.
First of all, saying that we’re “cracking down on asylum-seekers” is intentionally disingenuous. People who apply for asylum from their home country or even show up at an approved border crossing to submit a claim are still handled in the usual fashion. There may be unfortunately long delays because of the massive backlog in our courts, but their case will be head without penalty.
What this policy is primarily doing is dealing with people who cross the border illegally and then, when apprehended, immediately try to make an asylum claim. That’s not how the system is supposed to work.
The reporter goes on to state that the applicants are being removed more quickly without a federal court hearing. They’re still going to get a hearing, albeit an “expedited” one. And after they return to wait in Mexico, a normal court hearing date will be scheduled. But I suppose it doesn’t sound as good for your target audience when it’s described accurately.
As to the White House’s prospects in this one, that’s tough to say. The current Supreme Court justices have been rather hit and miss on immigration issues, though Trump has won several victories. Earlier this year the court agreed to uphold the policy where migrants would wait in Mexico for their court dates. But in 2018, a stricter policy that would flatly deny asylum to anyone crossing the border illegally was shot down.
This case seems far more similar to the former than the latter. The policy in question doesn’t seek to flatly and preemptively deny asylum to an entire class of people. It simply seeks to ease some of the congestion in our detention facilities and ease the backlog in the courts. With that in mind, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Ninth Circuit be overturned yet again and hand the Trump administration another win.