Political News

Administration asks to keep asylum policy in place while it seeks Supreme Court review

Posted March 3, 2020 10:25 p.m. EST

— The US government asked a federal appeals court late Tuesday to allow a controversial asylum policy to remain in effect for at least a week while it seeks a Supreme Court review of the case.

The Trump administration argued that blocking the administration from returning migrants to Mexico until their court date in the US would cause "massive disruption" on the southern border, citing incidents last week when the court issued its ruling. The court later put its ruling on hold after a request by the administration.

"Granting a stay through Supreme Court review will prevent massive disruption to the government's immigration operations and sudden confusion for thousands of migrants about their ability to enter the United States," the court filing reads.

In a declaration attached to Tuesday's filing, Deputy Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert Perez listed a series of incidents that unfolded last week after the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the administration's so-called "remain in Mexico" policy. Perez noted that groups of migrants gathered at ports of entry across the border and said Border Patrol assets were "redeployed and redirected" to ports of entry to respond.

"During the short period of time that the injunction was operative on February 28, the ability of CBP law enforcement officers and agents to protect against national security threats and interdict illicit materials was undoubtedly and negatively impacted," the declaration reads.

Valerie Boyd, assistant secretary for international affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, also argued in a declaration that the suspension of the administration's policy undermines "two years' worth of diplomatic engagement with" Mexico.

The administration asked the court to extend the stay "by at least seven days, to March 10, to afford the Supreme Court an orderly opportunity for review."

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