The Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS) greenlit the speedy removal of asylum seekers, granting President Donald Trump’s administration what appears to be an immigration victory.
“An asylum officer’s rejection of a credible-fear claim is reviewed by a supervisor and may then be appealed to an immigration judge,” wrote conservative Justice Samuel Alito in the June 25, 2020 decision.
“But the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) limits the review that a federal court may conduct on a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. In particular, courts may not review “the determination” that an applicant lacks a credible fear of persecution.”
SCOTUS decided that asylum-seekers claiming fear of persecution abroad do not have a right to access the judicial branch before being removed.
“They can still appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) if the case is denied by the asylum officer, supervisor and immigration judge,” said George Farag, an expert in U.S. immigrant and non-immigrant visa policy who served as a diplomat and consular officer at American embassies in Iraq and Lebanon. “Immigration judges are part of the immigration court system under the Department of Justice and part of the executive branch of government.”
However, asylum seekers can no longer appeal to federal courts if denied asylum.
“There is concern that this SCOTUS opinion will be used by the Trump Administration as a precedence for immigration cases beyond asylum,” Farag told Newsmax Finance. “The Trump Administration may claim that undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for one or two years should be considered asylum seekers and can be put on a fast track deportation process without judicial oversight.”
China, Egypt, Venezuela, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Syria. Iraq, Iran, and Honduras are the top 10 countries from which asylum seekers to America emerge, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The SCOTUS ruling arrived on the heels of Trump’s order that extends a ban on green cards issued outside the U.S. until the end of the year but the proclamation only impacts new visa issuances.
“The freeze includes many temporary work visas, including the H-1B visas, which permit employers to hire foreign workers with specialized knowledge and are used heavily by technology companies and multinational corporations,” Farag said in an interview. “India and China will be most affected.”
Last year, some 85% or 160,000 of 188,000 H1-B visas issued around the world derive from China and India, according to the U.S. State Department.
“Most Americans and legal residents want to get back to work in this exceptional environment without the pressure of new immigrants in the job market,” said Farag. “The immigration pause does not affect immigrants who already have green cards or who are spouses and children of American citizens.”
Juliette Fairley is an author, lecturer and TV host based in New York.
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