Trump administration asks Supreme Court for permission to enforce asylum ban

The Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to step in to allow it to enforce a new policy barring immigrants who cross the border illegally from seeking asylum. 

Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed a request to Justice Elena KaganElena KaganOvernight Energy: EPA watchdog slams agency chief after deputy fails to cooperate in probe | Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act | Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act Justices appear divided over expanding police officers' traffic stop power MORE, an Obama appointee, on Tuesday that asks the court to a block a district court order preventing the government from enforcing its ban nationwide.

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Francisco called the lower court’s injunction “deeply flawed.”

“The nationwide injunction prohibits the Executive Branch from implementing an interim final rule adopted to address an ongoing crisis at the southern border, with significant implications for ongoing diplomatic negotiations and foreign relations,” he said in the filing.

The Ninth Circuit denied the government’s request for a stay but has not ruled on its appeal of the injunction issued by Judge Jon Tigar, an Obama appointee on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The case stems from a challenge East Bay Sanctuary Covenant and three other organizations that aid refugees brought taking aim at the new policy.

But Francisco said there is more than a fair prospect the court will vacate the injunction because the groups lack standing.

“Respondents lack Article III standing because they are not aliens seeking to challenge the rule directly, but advocacy groups — essentially, lawyers represented by other lawyers — that claim injury based on their purported need to devote resources to adapt to the new policy and speculation about how the rule will affect their funding,” he said.

He also called the groups’ claims that the policy violates immigration laws and rulemaking procedures meritless.

ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt, who is representing the challengers, accused the Trump administration of asking the Supreme Court to short-circuit the normal judicial process and reinstate a blatantly unlawful policy.

“We will vigorously oppose this latest stay request, as we did in the Ninth Circuit,” he said in a statement.

It takes five justices to agree to stay a lower court ruling.

-- Updated 5:30 p.m.