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'Rights' in perspective: Enforcing immigration law

| Thursday, April 20, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

Immigration enforcement got a nod Monday from the U.S. Supreme Court, which left in place a lower-court ruling that said constitutional rights in these cases do not automatically extend to illegal aliens.

The case involved asylum seekers from Central America, women and children, who wanted the justices to reject a Philadelphia federal court ruling, which upheld their expedited removal. The 28 mothers said they had suffered “gender-based violence” in their home countries.

But immigration judges had previously determined that the women lacked “credible fear” of persecution, Reuters reported. So, by law, they were placed in expedited removal proceedings. The women challenged the rejection of their asylum requests, insisting that their right to due process was being denied.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philly, however, ruled otherwise. It determined that the women are no different than noncitizens seeking initial admission to the U.S. and, as such, do not possess constitutional rights if denied entry.

“The court simply held that such aliens may not invoke the Constitution to demand procedural steps or measures regarding their applications beyond those provided by existing statutes and regulations,” wrote Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall.

Indeed, the days of easy U.S. entry are over. And that probably accounts for the 93 percent drop since December of parents and children trying to cross illegally from Mexico into the U.S.

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