Asylum Seekers Ruling Left Intact by Top US Court

The US Supreme Court sidestepped a heated debate on the issue of illegal immigration on Monday. It declined an appeal by Central American women and children seeking asylum in the US and wanted clarification of the constitutional rights of immigrants prioritized for deportation by the US government.

The families, including 28 women and their 33 children, aged between two and 17 years, are from the Central American nations of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. They hoped to have the ruling of a lower court, barring them from having a federal judge review their expedited removal orders, overturned by the Supreme Court. The original Philadelphia court said the legal status of the families was the same as that of non-citizens denied access to the US at the border, and that they had no right to have that decision challenged in a court hearing.

Since Donald Trump assumed the Presidency of the US in January, the issue of immigration has become hotter than ever. His administration has ordered a wall to be built on the border between the US and Mexico, and expansion of the number of individuals to be targeted for expedited removal for non-citizens without valid US visas.

The families claim they escaped violence and threats in their home countries, but immigration judges decided their fear of persecution lacked credibility, and they were placed in proceedings for expedited removal from the US.