The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday sided with the federal government against asylum-seekers and shut down a push to treat their testimony as credible.
The court decided 9-0 that the California-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit must not presume an immigrant’s testimony to be credible when a lower court did not specifically address that person’s credibility, reports The Washington Examiner.
In its decision, the Supreme Court sent the case to the lower courts for more consideration.
The case involved immigrants Cesar Alcaraz-Enriquez and Ming Dai, who were seeking to remain in the United States but who had been determined to be ineligible based on the discrepancies in testimony.
In their cases, Alcaraz-Enriquez had been accused of lying about claims he'd beaten and raped a girlfriend, while Dai had been accused of leaving out a visit to China when he claimed he had been fleeing the Asian communist nation.
Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the decision that the 9th Circuit was wrong to interfere in the cases because of a technical question.
Further, he said, the appellate court did not have a place in imposing its own rules over the Immigration and Nationality Act's requirements at a time when immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals govern that area.
The Ninth Circuit’s rule "has no proper place in a reviewing court's analysis," Gorsuch wrote.
Gorsuch also wrote that Congress requires that there is judicial deference to the Board of Immigration Appeals' factual findings.
"When it comes to questions of fact — such as the circumstances surrounding Mr. Alcaraz-Enriquez’s prior conviction or Mr. Dai’s alleged persecution — the INA provides that a reviewing court must accept 'administrative findings' as 'conclusive unless any reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to conclude to the contrary,'" Gorsuch wrote.
The current case was the latest in a series of decisions on immigration from the top court.
In April, Gorsuch led a coalition of both liberal and conservative justices against the federal government on a question about deportation, and before that, the court wound down Trump-era immigration cases, after the Biden administration changed the positions of the federal government on immigration.
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