Trump administration begins enforcing new stricter asylum rule on southern border

Supreme Court says Trump administration can deny asylum while legal fight continues

The United States Supreme Court sided with the Trump administration Wednesday; allowing the White House to impose new restrictions on asylum applicants as more legal cases are decided in the lower courts. They are largely ineligible under the new rule, as are asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and South America who arrive regularly at the southern border.

The diversion of the Pentagon funds to border wall construction was justified under a controversial emergency declaration made by Trump after Congress repeatedly denied the president money for the project.

It means the Trump administration can now enforce the rule everywhere while a legal challenge to it continues.

A reminder of President Trump's success in staffing the federal judiciary came September 11 when the U.S. Senate confirmed his 150th judicial nominee, marking what Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and Trump ally, described as a "historic milestone".

Thousands of people have been put on waiting lists at border crossings in Mexico to make asylum claims in the U.S. More than 30,000 people have been turned back to Mexico to wait out their asylum claims there, the Associated Press reports.

"This is the ruling by the court, it's a USA issue, and obviously we don't agree with it, we have a different policy", Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told a news conference.

"The asylum ban the Supreme Court has upheld could be a death sentence for people in search of safety and protection".

Supreme Court says Trump administration can deny asylum while legal fight continues
Mexico 'disagrees' with Trump asylum restrictions

It would also put an end to the "caravans" of thousands who trek north from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to reach the U.S., since they must cross through Mexico and - according to the new rule - apply for asylum there in order to be welcomed at the USA border.

People seeking asylum in the USA must pass a screening called a "credible fear" interview.

Two of the nine Supreme Court justices - Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg - disagreed, or dissented. Under U.S. President Donald Trump's threat of imposing tariffs, Mexico has agreed to house numerous surging number of Central American asylum-seekers south of the border pending their U.S. hearings.

The court announced on Wednesday evening it would allow the enforcement of the new rules, pending government appeal of two decisions in the 9th Circuit Court. Tigar wrote in the decision that he was reviving the nationwide injunction because nonprofits like one of the plaintiffs in the case can not predict where asylum seekers will make their claims. There are thought to be at least 45,000 Central Americans who have been turned away by United States agents and forced to wait within Mexico while their asylum claims are processed, which can take many months.

Asylum seekers must pass an initial screening called a "credible fear" interview, a hurdle that a vast majority clear.

Opponents argue the policy violates global law by forcing people fleeing for their lives to seek refuge in countries where they may also be in danger.

"This is just a temporary step, and we're hopeful we'll prevail at the end of the day", ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said. "The lives of thousands of families are at stake", he added.

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