Source: The Hill
The Supreme Court ruled today that the Trump administration can deport some asylum-seekers without providing them with an opportunity to make their case in front of a judge. This decision allows the administration to quickly remove asylum-seekers that were unable to prove in their initial screening that they fear persecution in their home country.
The main question of the case was whether these expedited proceedings violate an immigrants’ right to due process under the Constitution. The Court found that although immigrants in the U.S. have due process rights in deportation proceedings, “Congress has the power to authorize executive agencies to remove asylum-seekers without providing for a hearing in federal court.”
The administration argues that “approximately 9 out of 10 asylum claims from Northern Triangle countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras) are found non-meritorious by federal immigration judges,” but these numbers are clouded by other factors. By July 2019, Trump’s administration appointed at least 190 out of the 400 current immigration judges in the U.S. In 2015, about 55 percent of asylum claims were denied, whereas in 2019, this number increased to about 75 percent.
Melissa Crow from the Southern Poverty Law Center states, “Today’s decision will put the lives of thousands of asylum seekers in even greater jeopardy. The protections Congress has provided for those in expedited removal are too often misapplied or ignored altogether during the screening process… Without access to habeas protection, they risk being returned to persecution based on flawed decisions that are not subject to judicial review.”