The top court's decision means the Trump administration can implement stricter asylum rules along the US-Mexican border while the policy is challenged in lower courts. The policy primarily impacts Central Americans.
The US Supreme Court ruled to allow the Trump administration to fully enforce a new policy that prevents most immigrants from applying for asylum at the US-Mexico border.
The top court's decision late Wednesday temporarily lifts a lower court ruling that had blocked the new asylum rule in some states along the southern border pending the outcome of legal challenges.
Liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were the only dissenting members of the nine seat court.
The rule, which was unveiled on July 15, requires most asylum seekers to first apply for protection in a third country they enter on their way to the southern US border.
The policy means a surge of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, as well as asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and South Americawho arrive at the southern border, would first have to apply for asylum in Guatemala or Mexico.
The Trump administration says the policy is designed to address deficiencies in an immigration system in which immigrants often pass initial asylum screening but fail to win final approval.
In August the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers nine Western states including Arizona and California, issued an injunction on the strict asylum policy pending litigation.
That left the administration able to carry out the new restrictions only in Texas and New Mexico.
The Supreme Court ruling allows the administration to implement the new policy along the entire border while legal challenges move through the courts.
cw/se (AP, Reuters)