Supreme Court Sides With Trump Administration In Deportation Case

Supreme Court Sides With Trump Administration In Deportation Case

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June 25, 202012:11 PM ET

Nina Totenberg at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 21, 2019. (photo by Allison Shelley)

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The Supreme Court

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The U.S. Supreme Court handed the Trump administration a major victory Thursday, ruling that those who enter the United States seeking asylum from persecution elsewhere have no right to a federal court hearing.

The decision, on a 7-to-2 vote, allows the Trump administration to fast-track the deportation of thousands of immigrants who have claimed to be escaping from persecution and torture in their home countries.

That was the case of Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam, a Sri Lankan farmer who sought asylum, telling immigration officials that he had been abducted from his fields, blindfolded by men in a van, interrogated and beaten so badly with wooden sticks that he spent 11 days in the hospital.

Thuraissigiam is Tamil, an ethnic minority that has long been persecuted by the majority Sinhalese government in Sri Lanka. After the beating, he traveled for seven months to get to Mexico, where he crossed the border into the U.S., was arrested and asked for political asylum.

“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,” Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, said.

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