WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s three-year response to immigration has led to an increase in complaints to the Supreme Court, where a conservative majority has been rebuilt increasingly pays dividends for him.
Last year, the judges let the government scare poor immigrants, deny asylum seekers, and divert military money to build a wall along the southern border. Federal officials’ efforts to force state and city cooperation could be the next.
The Supreme Court has heard arguments in six immigration cases since it began in October, including Trump’s plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allowed nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants to work without fear of deportation. Two more cases will be discussed next week, including efforts to speed up the deportation of migrants without hearing in federal courts.
Immigration: The Trump administration’s efforts to speed up the deportation of asylum seekers went to the Supreme Court
“The Trump administration has made immigration its main problem. I’m not surprised that it would go to the Supreme Court,” said Karen Tumlin, an immigration lawyer who founded the Justice Action Center.
The Flood of cases comes as that The President puts his approach to immigration at the center of his re-election campaign. For a court that bravely tries to avoid politics, its decisions could become fodder in these efforts.
Since 2017, many legal steps have been taken regarding immigration before federal district and district courts, where judges often questioned the administrative guidelines set by immigration law groups. The Justice Department used the Supreme Court to block many of these decisions, especially when district judges issued nationwide orders.
“There has been a massive rush of groups opposing immigration enforcement. As a result, a handful of federal district courts have distorted immigration law,” said Christopher Hajec, head of litigation at the Conservative Immigration Reform Institute. “If the Supreme Court understands this, it makes sense that they will side with the administration more often.”
It wasn’t a clean thing. It took three versions for the judges to confirm Trump’s travel ban from five predominantly Muslim countries in 2018. Chief Justice John Roberts cast the final vote last year that prevented the Department of Commerce from adding a citizenship issue to the 2020 census. Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump candidate, helped to void a vague law that subjects non-citizens who commit violent crimes to deportation.
The next big signal will come this spring on DACA, a program launched by President Barack Obama in 2012 to help undocumented young immigrants brought in as children. At the hearing in November, the court’s conservative judges said the administration had numerous political reasons to end this.
“I assume that this was a very well-considered decision,” said Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s other candidate for the Supreme Court.
A series of victories
Many of the President’s Supreme Court victories only block lower court decisions while litigation continues, but they usually break down ideologically:
• The court ruled between 5 and 4 last month that the administration can prevent thousands of immigrants from obtaining permanent legal status or green cards when they are likely to need public support.
Another 5-4 ruling last week that extended the Illinois restriction resulted in an angry contradiction by Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor and a response from Trump who traveled to India that both she and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should withdraw from cases in which he was involved.
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• In September, the court denied asylum to migrants on the southern border who had not applied for protection from another country along the way. Sotomayor and Ginsburg disagreed.
• In July, the judges 5-4 approved the use of $ 2.5 billion in military assets to begin building part of the long-awaited President’s wall along the country’s southern border.
“I’m certainly concerned about the increase in stays issued by the Supreme Court,” says Tumlin. “It sends shock waves through the immigrant rights community.”
The government is pending the challenge of a California Conservation Area Act that restricts state and local cooperation with federal immigration authorities. Other measures to limit asylum seekers could reach the Supreme Court in the next term.
If the judges agree to hear the government’s appeals and reverse the first instance in these cases, “it would really undermine the legitimacy of the court,” said Cecillia Wang, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which speaks out against Trump in many cases Cases.
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When the court returned from its winter break last week, it faced three other immigration cases within seven days, including one heard on Monday to test the Trump administration’s efforts to speed up the deportation of thousands of migrants without granting hearings to federal courts.
The California-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has caused Trump’s anger at his immigration measures, ruled last year that efforts to remove asylum seekers through such “accelerated deportation procedures” violated their constitutional rights. The Justice Department argues that expanding the streamlined process could lead to years of litigation.
After losing the case, the government expanded its accelerated deportation system in July to include asylum seekers who have been arrested across the country and have not been present in the United States for two years.
A dish shared
Immigration is one of several issues that consistently split the Supreme Court.
When the judges ruled against convicted non-citizens in March last year, the term’s first decision was to break down on strict ideological lines. Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote the statement and was supported by four conservatives. Associate Justice Stephen Breyer issued a sharp dissent on behalf of the Liberals.
The year before, the judges ruled 5-3 that detained non-citizens have no right to regular hearings on bonds. When the travel ban against majority Muslim countries was confirmed, it was passed with 5-4 votes.
In a similar case involving border security this week, Court 5-4 ruled ideologically that the family of a Mexican teenage boy shot and killed across the border by a U.S. border guard could not claim damages. The court’s conservatives argued that the boy lacked the constitutional rights that he would have had in Texas.
A motivating factor for conservative judges was the practice of district judges who issued nationwide orders. In many cases, the Justice Department has taken the unusual step of taking Supreme Court action before the lower courts’ appeals begin.
The president was his worst enemy at times.
In late 2018, after a federal judge blocked his efforts to cut asylum for migrants entering the country illegally – and before the case went to an appeals court – Roberts joined the court’s liberals and refused to intervene.
It probably didn’t help that Trump beat up District Court judge Jon Tigar after his initial decision as an “Obama judge,” as confirmed in a 2: 1 statement by Jay Bybee Court of Appeals, appointed by President George W. , Bush.
“We have no Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” said Roberts in a rare reprimand from the president. “What we have is an exceptional group of dedicated judges who do their best to give those who appear before them the same right.”
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Immigration: Donald Trump’s actions flood the Supreme Court with cases