Supreme Court Says Federal Courts Cannot Interfere in Deportations

Immigrants prepare to be set free from the Adelanto Detention Facility on November 15, 201
John Moore/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court says Congress can bar the nation’s federal courts from interfering in the agencies’ deportation of illegal aliens.

“An alien … has only those rights regarding admission that Congress has provided by statute,” said the 7-2 decision by Justice Samuel Alito. “An alien who tries to enter the country illegally is treated an an ‘applicant for admission,’ an alien who is detained shortly after unlawful entry cannot be said to have ‘effected an [legal] entry.”

The decision in Department of Homeland Security vs. Thuraissigiam is a victory for President Donald Trump’s effort to enforce U.S. migration law.

The new decision comes one day after a D.C. appeal court allowed the immigration agencies to begin the fast-track “expedited removal” of illegal migrants caught deep inside the United States.

Dale Wilcox, executive director of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, said:

The Court made absolutely the right call in this case. All aliens in the petitioner’s position are free to leave detention by leaving the country, so the writ has zero applicability to them. Today’s decision will allow expedited removal to work as intended, and prevent the further clogging of a removal system already severely overburdened due to decades of neglect.

Immigration lawyers slammed the Supreme Court’s decision, which will allow the Department of Justice’s own corps of immigration judges to deport migrants before they can hire lawyers to file appeals at the federal courts.

“This is absolutely awful,” said Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, who works for the pro-migration American Immigration Council. Alito “has ripped apart due process protections for people who are on US soil. As of today, Al Qaeda prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have more access to the right of habeas corpus than asylum seekers fleeing harm.” He continued:

Alito’s citations in dicta and footnotes of the blatantly political Trump administration’s attacks on asylum, as if they’re neutral facts about the asylum process, make me want to tear out my hair.

The Constitution weeps.

In general, immigration lawyers want the Supreme Court to insist that federal judges can keep their illegal-immigrant clients in the United States, regardless of decisions by the special immigration courts.

However, many of the lawyers also cheered the Supreme Court’s recent decision to block President Trump’s 2017 decision to deny work permits to “DACA” illegal immigrants, on the ground that the original decision did not include enough explanation.

In general, business groups and many white-collar professionals favor illegal immigration because it provides them with extra consumers, workers, and renters, as well as cheaper services.

But illegal immigration hurts blue-collar Americans by nudging down wages, by boosting housing costs, and by adding more chaotic diversity to the K-12 schools used by their children.

The decision shows the impact of a one-judge majority on the politically ambitious Supreme Court.

On June 18, once a single GOP-nominated judge switched sides to join with the four-judge liberal bloc. Those five judges voted to preserve President Barack Obama’s 2012 partial amnesty for 800,000 younger illegal migrants.

The June 26 decision was recorded as 7-2 only because two of the Democrat-nominated judges concluded the court’s decision was correct in this particular case. They did not say it is correct for most cases — leaving them plenty of room to reverse their views if Democrat judges can recruit one of the GOP-nominated judges to their pro-migration side.


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