DOJ asks Supreme Court to lift injunction on asylum ban

Immigrants wait to climb over the U.S.-Mexico border fence on December 2, 2018 from Tijuana, Mexico. Numerous members of the caravan were able to cross over from Tijuana to San Diego and were quickly taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents. Most had planned to request political asylum in the United States after traveling more than 6 weeks from Central America. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice is asking the Supreme Court to lift the injunction that’s blocking the asylum ban from going into effect, according to a filing Tuesday night.

It’s the latest move by an aggressive solicitor general to bypass the lower courts and ask the newly solidified conservative Supreme Court for relief.

President Donald Trump signed a presidential proclamation last month that would bar migrants who illegally cross into the US over the southern border from seeking asylum outside of official ports of entry. But a federal judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked the measure, arguing that it “irreconcilably conflicts” with immigration law and the “expressed intent of Congress.” A panel of judges on the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said Friday that the lower court’s temporary injunction should remain in place.

“The United States has experienced a surge in the number of aliens who enter the country unlawfully from Mexico and, if apprehended, claim asylum and remain in the country while the claim is adjudicated, with little prospect of actually being granted that discretionary relief,” Solicitor General Noel Francisco wrote in Tuesday’s filing.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt said the move to restore the ban would “short-circuit” judicial precedent.

“The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to short-circuit the normal judicial process and reinstate a blatantly unlawful policy,” Gelernt said in a statement. “We will vigorously oppose this latest stay request, as we did in the Ninth Circuit.”

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who has jurisdiction over the appeals court, is asking the challengers for a response by next Monday.