People in Florida concerned about the effect of President Trump's attempt to impose restrictions on asylum claims may have been relieved to hear that the Supreme Court upheld a block placed by federal District Judge Jon Tigar on the regulations. However, the high court has not yet heard arguments on the merits of the administration's claim to have the right to modify established immigration law. Last month, Trump signed a proclamation seeking to bar people who entered the United States without authorization at the southern border from seeking asylum anywhere but an official port of entry.
The presidential order was issued despite the fact that U.S. immigration law explicitly exempts asylum applications from a requirement to enter legally. Due to the conflict of law, Tigar issued a temporary order preventing the ban from going into place. This temporary injunction was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then, on Dec. 21, by the U.S. Supreme Court. In the 5-4 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts cast the decisive vote. Roberts earlier rebuked Trump for his comments criticizing the 9th Circuit.
The Trump administration is pursuing an appeal that would assert the merits of its asylum ban. The appeal was paused by a court on Dec. 26 after the Justice Department sought an extension to file its brief due to the partial government shutdown. The shutdown has ensued because Congress and the President have not come to an agreement on the federal budget.
The protections provided by asylum law have been a lifeline for many people facing a credible fear of persecution and violence. People who are seeking asylum or dealing with the immigration system may be troubled by political rhetoric. An immigration attorney may help people navigate the system and work to protect their right to stay in the country.