Supreme Court to hear case over quick deportations

Supreme Court to hear case over quick deportations

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review an appeals court ruling that migrants targeted for quick deportation have the right to make their claims before a federal court.

The Trump administration had asked the Supreme Court to review the decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that would give detained migrants who are denied asylum the right to have their cases reviewed in federal courts.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of a Sri Lankan migrant named Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam who was denied asylum and placed into expedited removal proceedings after being arrested crossing over the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017. The ACLU argued to a federal district court that the Department of Homeland Security failed to follow proper expedited removal procedures in handling Thuraissigiam's case.


“It is a foundational principle of our Constitution that individuals deprived of their liberty have access to a federal court — this includes asylum-seekers whose lives are in danger,” Lee Gelernt, the deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights' Project, said in a statement Friday.

Thuraissigiam told immigration officials that he had been abducted and beaten by a gang of men in Sri Lanka because he belonged to the oppressed Tamil ethnic group. Thuraissigiam also said he was at risk of being branded a traitor and tortured further if he were sent back.

An asylum officer decided during the expedited removal process that Thuraissigiam had not shown a credible fear of persecution at the prospect of returning to Sri Lanka.

After the Ninth Circuit decided that a federal district court has jurisdiction to review Thuraissigiam's claims, the Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court.

Solicitor General Noel Francisco wrote that the appeals court decision risks "undermining the government’s ability to control the border."

The Trump administration has had mixed results defending its crackdown on immigration before the Supreme Court. Next month, the top court will hear oral arguments over whether Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was lawful.

Updated at 4:50 p.m.