The Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s request to enforce a policy that would deny asylum to those who enter the U.S. illegally through the southern border, The Washington Post reports. In a 5-4 vote on Friday, Chief Justice John Roberts reportedly joined the liberal justices in the majority, upholding a ruling from a lower court that blocked the Trump administration from enforcing the ban. Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch reportedly dissented. The Post reports that the administration’s November proclamation denying asylum for “anyone who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border between official ports of entry” was declared potentially illegal in lower courts.
Justice Department Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco reportedly told the Supreme Court the policy was meant to encourage asylum seekers to enter the U.S. via ports of entry “for orderly processing” and to avoid “dangerous and illegal entries.” Francisco also claimed the policy would reduce the “the backlog of meritless asylum claims.” According to the newspaper, lower courts ruled that Trump lacks the authority to make such changes. They also ruled that the initiative violates a statue that specifically states asylum claims must be accepted from anyone who has entered the U.S., regardless of where they entered.