Well, miracles do happen.
This week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a misbegotten court that has been relentlessly hostile to both the Trump administration and the rule of law, actually came back with a ruling favorable to the president.
In a surprising decision on Tuesday, the court granted the Trump administration permission to keep sending asylum seekers back to Mexico while they await their day before a judge. The ruling overturns a recent San Francisco District Court decision that blocked Trump from sending refugees back across the border. The merits of the policy itself have still not been ruled on, however, meaning this reprieve could be only temporary.
The ACLU, which is the plaintiff in the case against Trump, said in a statement that “there is good reason to believe that ultimately this policy will be put to a halt.”
“Asylum seekers are being put at serious risk of harm every day that the forced return policy continues,” the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project said in a statement. “Notably, two of the three judges that heard this request found that there are serious legal problems with what the government is doing.”
Even the New York Times was taken aback by the decision, telling readers that it was “an unusual victory for the Trump administration in the liberal-leaning court.” That’s about as close as you’ll ever hear the Times coming to admitting that this president has been stymied by left-wing judicial activism.
Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy was put into effect late last year as the Department of Homeland Security struggled to find ways to discourage the onslaught of illegal immigrants. With the program’s initiation, migrants who wanted to apply for asylum in San Diego or El Paso would be sent back across the border to await further processing. The policy is intended to cut down on the out-of-control “catch and release” loopholes that have allowed ineligible refugees to stay in the United States indefinitely (with full permits to work!)
In allowing the Trump administration to continue the policy, the appellate judges cited Mexico’s newfound willingness to cooperate.
“The plaintiffs fear substantial injury upon return to Mexico, but the likelihood of harm is reduced somewhat by the Mexican government’s commitment to honor its international-law obligations and to grant humanitarian status and work permits to individuals returned,” the judges said.
Sounds to us like a great place to settle down and apply for asylum.
You know, like international law demands.