President Donald Trump didn’t get what he wanted for Christmas, and 32BJ isn’t shedding any tears.
The court voted 5-4 to leave a lower court ruling in place that rejected Trump’s asylum policy regarding undocumented immigrants. Four conservative justices, including new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, voted on the side of the Trump administration.
The court’s ruling leaves in place a lower court ruling that blocked Trump’s proclamation to automatically deny asylum to people who enter the country from Mexico without going through U.S. official border crossings.
32BJ SEIU President Hector Figueroa said that the Supreme Court ruling is a bright light from a dark year for immigrants.
“We are thrilled to hear that the Supreme Court has prevented the Trump administration from unilaterally re-writing the nation’s immigration laws by restricting the place where migrants could ask for asylum,” stated Figueroa. “The Trump administration was clearly violating the will of Congress when it tried to restrict those desperately seeking safety from violence and persecution to certain ports of entry.”
Trump said he offered the asylum ban as a response to alleged caravans of migrants heading to the border. Last month, when a lower court blocked his new asylum rules, the president called the ruling by United States Court District Judge Jon S. Tigar the work of an “Obama Judge.”
“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” stated Chief Justice John Roberts. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”
Judge Tigar also entered a preliminary injunction on Trump’s asylum ban.
“If anything, the inconsistency between the new regulation and the immigration laws has been stated more clearly,” wrote Tigar. “The harms to those seeking asylum are also even clearer, and correspondingly the public interest more plainly supports injunctive relief.”
The Trump administration is continually engaged in unilateral efforts to erase decades of rules governing asylum claims. Under a 1965 law, migrants can claim asylum no matter how they entered the country.
Figueroa called out Trump for his attempt to circumvent U.S. law, but praised the court for foiling the president’s plans.
“This attempt to re-write our nation’s asylum policies unilaterally is one more sign of the extreme lengths that this administration is going to persecute all immigrants,” said Figueroa. “The American people voted against this bigotry in November, and now the Supreme Court has ruled against it as well. It is time for the Trump administration end its pursuit of its hateful agenda, from the Muslim ban to the Border Wall, so that we can return to our nation’s great tradition of tolerance, diversity and compassion.”