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Supreme Court backs Trump on asylum crackdown

By Lawrence Hurley and Daniel Trotta
Immigrants from Central America and Mexican citizens queue to cross into the U.S. to apply for asylum at the new border crossing of El Chaparral in Tijuana

By Lawrence Hurley and Daniel Trotta

(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court granted a request by President Donald Trump's administration to fully enforce a new rule that would curtail asylum applications by immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, a key element of his hardline immigration policies.

The court said the rule, which requires most immigrants who want asylum to first seek safe haven in a third country through which they had traveled on their way to the United States, could go into effect as litigation challenging its legality continues.

Liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented.

The rule, unveiled on July 15, requires most immigrants who want U.S. asylum to first seek asylum in a third country they had traveled through on their way to the United States.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Aug. 16 limited a federal judge's injunction blocking the rule to the nine Western states over which it has jurisdiction including the border states of California and Arizona. That had left open the possibility that the rule could be applied in the two other border states, Texas and New Mexico.

The American Civil Liberties Union and others who challenged the administration's policy in federal court said it violates U.S. immigration law and accused the administration of failing to follow the correct legal process in issuing the rule.



(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley and Daniel Trotta; Additional reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Howard Goller)