The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the government’s power to arrest, question and quickly remove immigrants who are caught crossing the border illegally.
In a victory for the Trump administration, the justices rejected the claim that immigrants who seek asylum have a right to a full federal court review through a writ of habeas corpus, even if their claims are judged to be not credible.
The 7-2 decision came in the case of a Sri Lankan immigrant who was caught late at night 25 yards north of the border with Mexico near San Ysidro, Calif. He was interviewed by an asylum officer who concluded he did not have a “credible fear of persecution,” which would trigger a further hearing. A supervisor and immigration judge agreed his claim did not deserve further review.
But last year, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a broad ruling in his case holding that the federal law authorizing “expedited removal” of border crossers was unconstitutional in cases such as his.
Lawyers for Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam, the Sri Lankan man, said due to “communication problems,” the asylum officer did not learn of his full story. It included his being detained and beaten by army officers for supporting a Tamil political candidate. The 9th Circuit ruled it would violate the Constitution’s right of habeas corpus and due process of law to deny a federal court review for such cases.
Read more: The Los Angeles Times