Top officials in the Trump administration celebrated the Supreme Court ruling that struck down the injunction on an asylum rule.
“YUGE Win at SCOTUS today! With only two dissents, SCOTUS removed the injunctions against USCIS’ rule requiring asylum seekers to apply for asylum at a country they pass through on their way to the US southern border,” Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said in a statement late Wednesday, Sept. 11.
“While Congress continues to do nothing, President Trump’s administration uses every tool in the toolbox to try and solve the crisis at our southern border. USCIS will commence implementing the asylum rule ASAP.”
Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan added on Thursday that the ruling was “a big victory.”
“If [asylum seekers] have a valid claim, they should be seeking help and asylum from the first country they come in contact with,” Morgan said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
“They shouldn’t be paying the cartels thousands of dollars and risking their lives to take a thousand-mile journey across several countries to get help,” he continued.
Morgan said President Donald Trump’s administration is “doing everything they can” by “utilizing every tool in the toolbox within the current legal framework to stop this crisis, while Congress sits on their hands and fails to do what they know they need to do to end this crisis.”
Trump reacted to the news on Twitter, writing on Wednesday evening that it was a “BIG WIN for the Border on Asylum!”
The nation’s highest court settled what became a contentious back-and-forth that highlighted how federal judges have increasingly utilized nationwide injunctions to impose their will.
District Court Judge Jon Tigar, who was appointed by former president Barack Obama, issued such an injunction in July, blocking the rule from going into effect across the four states that share a border with Mexico.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed the injunction, saying Tigar hadn’t properly considered whether a nationwide injunction was necessary, but Tigar this week responded, reimposing the nationwide injunction.
The reimposition triggered a response from the appeals court, which once again blocked the nationwide injunction, narrowing the injunction to California and Arizona.
The Supreme Court ruling frees all four border states to act according to the rule, which requires some asylum claimants to wait in Mexico for U.S. immigration processing.
The rule blocks asylum from applicants who pass through a third county en route to the United States but don’t seek asylum there.
It’s in line with the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
The Supreme Court doesn’t completely settle the issue. Tigar will still get to rule on the issue at large, but if the administration loses, it would likely appeal to the Supreme Court.
A number of lower court decisions have been reversed by the nation’s highest court, which is currently composed of five justices named by Republican presidents, including two by Trump, and four named by Democratic presidents, including the two oldest members of the court.
The 9th Circuit is infamous for issuing orders that are later reversed by the Supreme Court.