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Supreme Court ruling good news for immigrants in Florida

In a major defeat of the Trump Administration's policy banning asylum to migrants who illegally enter United States, conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Court's four liberal justices in striking down the ban on December 21, 2018. The Trump administration had instituted the ban the preceding November, prompting a federal judge in California and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District to declare the ban unconstitutional.

The U.S. Department of Justice vowed that it would continue to fight in favor of the ban despite the fact that the Trump Administration has had 25 injunctions imposed on it by federal appellate courts. A spokesman for the Justice Department noted that the Supreme Court's ruling was only based on procedural grounds. However, many legal observers believe that the ruling signals that at least five of the Justices on the Court are unwilling to back Trump on his controversial policies designed to combat illegal immigration.

Chief Justice Roberts has been a pivotal vote on the Court during Trump's tenure. In November 2018, shortly after the implementation of the asylum ban, Chief Justice Roberts took the rare step of issuing a public statement proclaiming the independence of the judiciary after President Trump criticized the California federal appellate court that issued the ruling.

Justice Roberts' willingness to side with immigration rights advocates is a positive sign for undocumented immigrants that constitutional challenges against discriminatory policies will be successful despite the strongly conservative makeup of the Court. Migrants seeking asylum or wishing to challenge other discriminatory policies based on country of origin or legal status may wish to consult an experienced immigration attorney in determining whether to take legal action.

Source: CNN, "Supreme Court upholds block on Trump's asylum ban," Caroline Kelly, Ariane de Vogue and Dan Berman, December 22, 2018

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