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The U.S. Supreme Court late Wednesday gave the Trump administration permission to enforce its toughest restriction yet on asylum seekers at the southern border, even though a lawsuit to stop the new policy is still working its way through the lower courts.

As a result, the government can now refuse to consider a request for asylum from anyone who failed to apply for it in another country after leaving home but before coming here. The order means, for instance, that migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador cannot seek asylum in the U.S. if they didn’t first ask for it in Mexico.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented, saying the court acted too quickly and should allow the case to work its way through the normal judicial process.

The administration said the new restriction is needed to respond to “an unprecedented surge” of people who enter the country illegally and seek asylum if they’re caught. But officials said only a small fraction of them are eventually found to be qualified. “The rule thus screens out asylum seekers who declined to request protection at their first opportunity,” said Solicitor General Noel Francisco. He said it allows immigration officials to concentrate on the asylum seekers who most need protection. Read more

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The U.S. Supreme Court late Wednesday gave the Trump administration permission to enforce its toughest restriction yet on asylum seekers at the southern border, even though a lawsuit to stop the new policy is still working its way through the lower courts.

The U.S. Supreme Court late Wednesday gave the Trump administration permission to enforce its toughest restriction yet on asylum seekers at the southern border, even though a lawsuit to stop the new policy is still working its way through the lower courts.