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Trump's Quick Deportations Score on Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration can deport some people seeking asylum without allowing them to make their case to a federal judge.

The high court’s 7-2 ruling applies to people who fail their initial asylum screenings, making them eligible for quick deportation, or expedited removal.

The justices ruled in the case of a man who said he fled persecution in Sri Lanka, but failed to persuade immigration officials that he faced harm if he returned.

The man was arrested soon after he slipped across the U.S. border from Mexico.

The high court reversed a lower-court ruling in favor of the man, Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam, who was placed in expedited removal proceedings that prohibit people who fail initial interviews from asking federal courts for much help.

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Since 2004, immigration officials have targeted for quick deportation illegal immigrants who are picked up within 100 miles of the U.S. border and within 14 days of entering the country.

The Trump administration is seeking to expand that authority so that people detained anywhere in the U.S. and up to two years after they get here could be quickly deported.

On Tuesday, a federal appeals court threw out a trial judge’s ruling that had blocked the expanded policy. Other legal issues remain to be resolved in the case.

The administration has made overhauling the asylum system a centerpiece of its immigration agenda.

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Changes include making asylum-seekers wait in Mexico while their cases go through U.S. immigration court, denying asylum to anyone on the Mexican border who passes through another country without first seeking protection there, and flying Hondurans and El Salvadorans to Guatemala with an opportunity to seek asylum there instead of in the U.S.

On Monday, the Trump administration published sweeping new procedural and substantive rules that would make it much more difficult to get asylum, triggering a 30-day period for public comment before they can take effect.

The United States became the world’s top destination for asylum-seekers in 2017, according to UN figures.


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