(USA Features) The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority appeared more sympathetic to the Trump administration’s policy of rapidly deporting migrants who are determined by immigration officials not to have qualified for asylum.
During oral arguments on Monday, justices heard a challenge to a lower court ruling that an asylum seeker from Sri Lanka – a farmer named Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam – has due process rights under the U.S. Constitution to have his case reviewed by a federal court.
Last year, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that in Thuraissigiam’s case a federal law that mostly stripped the power of courts to review quick deportations, otherwise known as expedited removal, was a violation of a provision in the Constitution known as the suspension clause.
“The suspension clause is a clause in the U.S. Constitution that protects the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus by not allowing to suspend the writ once issued. Likewise, suspension of the writ is permissible only on exceptional cases like rebellion or when it would amount to invasion of public safety,” notes U.S. Legal.
The ACLU, which is representing Thuraissigiam, said if the high court accepts the Trump administration’s interpretation of the law, it could then be used to deport millions of additional illegal immigrants without any judicial review.
Thuraissigiam claimed that as a member of the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka he was tortured over his political ties and subjected to beatings and simulated drowning.
He fled Sri Lanka in 2016 and was arrested in 2017 just north of the border between San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico, near the San Ysidro port of entry.
He was placed on expedited removal under a 1996 statute that appears to make an exception for immigrants who have a “credible fear” of persecution if returned to their home countries.