Supreme Court refuses to revive Trump asylum ban

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Trump bid to enforce new asylum rules

The high court declined to overturn a block placed by the San Francisco federal appeals court on Trump's executive order to automatically reject asylum requests from migrants crossing the U.S. border from Mexico.

The Justice Department expressed disappointment with the decision, saying the 25 nationwide injunctions against Mr Trump administration policies were "unprecedented".

Chief Justice John Roberts provided the critical vote against the administration Friday, siding with the four liberal justices. "We will continue to defend the Executive Branch's lawful authority over the discretionary benefit of asylum".

The court issued no official opinion or explanation of their decision.

The US administration's new rules were a key element of its policies to make it more hard for immigrants to enter and stay in the United States.

Earlier this week, a federal judge in Washington rejected a different Trump administration restriction on asylum. Shortly after it was signed, a federal appeals court judge in San Francisco declared that the order "irreconcilably conflicts" with the "expressed intent of Congress" in federal law.

The administration hopes the long waiting time for a ruling on asylum applications, and being forced to stay in Mexico, will deter others from making the long trip to the border from their home countries.

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Chief Justice John Roberts was the deciding vote in the nine-person US Supreme Court, siding with some of the more left-leaning justices. Newly confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh and three other conservatives on the bench sided with the administration, the order said.

Trump's comments led to an extraordinary rebuke by Roberts, who defended the independence of the federal judiciary and wrote in a public response to Trump on November 21: "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges". "That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for". "Very unsafe and unwise!"

The disputed Trump policy, created to apply for 90 days, would effectively require all asylum claims to be made at official ports of entry.

The immigration groups challenging the new rule urged the court to leave Tigar's order in place, telling the justices that even if there were a crisis - which, they said, there is not - it would be up to Congress, not the president and the executive branch, to make any changes to the USA asylum scheme. The legal fight on that could return to the Supreme Court.

A group of Republican former Justice Department officials, including two former acting attorneys general and a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, told the Supreme Court that would be just a clever way around the law.

He also argued that the challengers did not have the legal right to bring the case because they are advocacy groups and not individual aliens. The case could take months to resolve.

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