By Tank Murdoch
(TNS) After a three-judge panel of the notoriously liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ordered the Trump administration to end its “Remain in Mexico” policy for Central American asylum seekers, the same panel then blocked its order following a request by Justice Department lawyers.
As we noted Friday, it was the court’s latest slap in the face of the Trump administration’s efforts to bring sanity to U.S. immigration policy and gain control over a border inundated with scores of migrants last year:
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The policy, which is formally called the Migrant Protection Protocols, was introduced by the administration in January 2019 as the White House looked for ways to avoid releasing families seeking asylum into the U.S. That’s because in the past, most families that were released ‘awaiting their hearing date’ were never seen or heard from again.
That, however, seems to not be an issue with the notoriously Left-wing 9th Circuit.
Or maybe it was.
As The Epoch Times reports, the court granted a request by the Justice Department for a stay of the order, which the court granted, giving the government until Monday to file new written arguments by close of business on Monday and plaintiffs’ response by close of business Tuesday.
The pause means the policy remains in effect for now. It also gives the administration an opportunity to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the policy, which the White House maintains is in compliance with U.S. law and the president’s Article II authorities.
The Epoch Times noted:
The MPP, more commonly known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, was enacted in January 2019 as an attempt to curb the flow of illegal immigration and prevent fraudulent or nonmeritorious cases. The policy sends migrants back to Mexico while they wait for a court to process their claims, rather than just being released directly into the United States to live for years until their court cases are complete.
The program has been a pivotal factor in the dramatic drop in illegal crossings over the past several months.
The majority ruled earlier on Friday that the MPP is “invalid in its entirety” because it was inconsistent with the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), while adding that the challengers “have shown a likelihood of success on their claim that the MPP does not comply with our treaty-based” obligations to not force refugees or asylum seekers to return to a country where they are liable to be subjected to persecution.
The majority also ruled that the immigration policy is likely to cause “irreparable harm” to the challengers of the policy.
“Uncontested evidence in the record establishes that non-Mexicans returned to Mexico under the MPP risk substantial harm, even death, while they await adjudication of their applications for asylum,” Judge William Fletcher, a Clinton appointee, wrote in the majority opinion.
Well, we all have our opinions, right?
According to a key provision of the INA, this shouldn’t even be a matter of discussion or ‘interpretation.’ The relevant part of the statute gives the president broad authorities here, and again, it was a constitutionally-passed law.
Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 states: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate [emphasis added].”
That seems pretty cut and dried, and to most of the constitutionalists that Trump is appointing to the Ninth Circuit, it would be.
And let’s recall, Trump has declared a national emergency along the border.
As to a president’s authority under existing national security provisions, in the 1970s Congress passed the National Emergencies Act, which attempted to define at least some of the president’s authorities to respond to unorthodox and potentially dangerous situations as he deems necessary.
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The United States Code (Title 42, Chapter 68, Subchapter I, §5122), defines emergency as follows:
“Emergency means any occasion or instance for which, in the determination of the President, Federal assistance is needed to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States.”
Time will tell. At least the court is giving the administration additional time to make its arguments.
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