The US Supreme Court ruled 7-2 Thursday in Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam that asylum seekers can be denied review of their immigration status under the federal habeas statute. This case came about when Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam was caught crossing the border into the US.
The suspension clause says that writ of habeas corpus protections will not be suspended unless “when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.” It exists with the same protection it did when the constitution was written, and the parties agree that there should not be an extension considered in this case. The court found that without an argument for extending habeas corpus there is no way it can be interpreted that when the constitution was written asylum seekers were considered by the writers.
The Supreme Court stated that; “While aliens who have established connections in this country have due process rights in deportation proceedings, the Court long ago held that Congress is entitled to set the conditions for an alien’s lawful entry into this country and that, as a result, an alien at the threshold of initial entry cannot claim any greater rights under the Due Process Clause.”
Before, undocumented migrants could face quick deportation, without a federal court hearing, if they were detained within 14 days of entry and within 100 miles of the border. Thuraissigiam is not entitled to more due process than what the statute says because he came illegally and was apprehended 25 yards from the illegal access point. Now, the administration wants to apply that rule to people anywhere in the U.S. within two years of entering the country.
Lee Gelernt of the ACLU, who represented Thuraissigiam, said the ruling “fails to live up to the Constitution’s bedrock principle that individuals deprived of their liberty have their day in court, and this includes asylum seekers.” As a result, he said, “some people facing flawed deportation orders can be forcibly removed with no judicial oversight, putting their lives in grave danger.”
Justice Samuel Alito said “that form of relief is intended to be used for seeking release from detention, not as an avenue to get into federal court”.
How does the Trump administration’s victory affect people seeking asylum?
The Supreme Court ruling states that people seeking asylum in the U.S. can be deported without additional court hearings.