Supreme Court Sides With Trump on Asylum and Deportation
On Thursday, in the case of Dept. of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam, the Supreme Court overwhelmingly sided with the Trump administration, saying that the federal law limiting an asylum applicant’s ability to appeal a rejection due to fear of persecution at home is constitutional.
In other words, an applicant can be deported without being allowed to appear before a federal judge. If an applicant fails his or her initial asylum screening, they can be quickly deported, should the government so choose.
The court ruled that the federal law in question, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), does not violate the Constitution’s Suspension Clause, which protects habeas corpus allowing courts to see if a person was unlawfully detained.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion, saying that “In this case, however, respondent did not ask to be released. Instead, he sought entirely different relief: vacatur of his ‘removal order’ and ‘an order directing [the Department] to provide him with a new . . . opportunity to apply for asylum and other relief from removal’… that relief falls outside the scope of the common-law habeas writ.” Alito also said that the IIRIRA does not violate the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the dissent, joined by Justice Elena Kagan, saying that the ruling “deprives [asylum seekers] of any means to ensure the integrity of an expedited removal order, an order which, the Court has just held, is not subject to any meaningful judicial oversight as to its substance. Today’s decision handcuffs the Judiciary’s ability to perform its constitutional duty to safeguard individual liberty and dismantles a critical component of the separation of powers.”