Supreme Court Upholds Controversial Policy

Grind for September 18th
“A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.”

– Milton Berle

Mission Complete

The Headline

Supreme Court upholds third-country asylum rule

The Grind

The Supreme Court this week voted 7-2 to uphold a controversial immigration policy that blocks migrants arriving at the US border from claiming asylum if they traveled through another country and did not apply for protection there.

,b>In other words, all the Central American migrants heading through Mexico to the US will be forced to seek asylum in Mexico.

The policy was unveiled in July and immediately blocked by a judge in California. Legal challenges continue, but the Supreme Court’s decision allows the policy to be enforced nationwide.

Mexico strongly opposes the ruling.

The Details

The Trump Administration insists eligibility requirements are necessary to confront the crisis at the border.

So far this year, more than 800,000 people have been detained on the US-Mexico border; over half came from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

“Until Congress can act, this interim rule will help reduce a major pull factor driving irregular migration to the United States and enable the DHS and DOJ to more quickly and efficiently process cases originating from the southern border, leading to fewer individuals transiting through Mexico on a dangerous journey,” said DHS Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan.

“The US is a generous country, but is being completely overwhelming by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of aliens along the southern border,” added Attorney General William Barr.

Migrants are exempt from the policy if they can prove they were denied asylum by a third country or are a victim of human trafficking.

Dried Up

The Headline

EPA overturns 2015 Clean Water Rule

The Grind

The Environmental Protection Agency this week finalized its rollback of an Obama-era rule that enhanced protections for wetlands and small waterways.

The repeal will allow the Trump Administration to decide which waters deserve federal protection and which do not.

“We’re delivering on the president’s regulatory reform agenda,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, who described the 2015 policy as an “egregious power grab.”

The Details

The Clean Water Rule was enacted to clarify water resource management and to define the scope of federal water protection – particularly over streams and wetlands that have ecological connections to important waterways and seas.

The Clean Water Rule prompted lawsuits and petitions from 31 states.

“Developers, mining companies, and farmers painted the regulation as a massive federal overreach,” reports NPR. “Environmental groups and the Obama Administration argued wider protections are needed to protect the nation’s complicated water systems from pollution.”

The EPA has completed 46 deregulatory actions since Trump took office and has another 45 actions in the works.

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