The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Trump administration to enforce its most ambitious effort yet to unilaterally make it more hard for migrants from Central America and other parts of the world to seek asylum at the U.S. -Mexico border.
A United States district judge had blocked the policy from going into effect nationwide - days after it was unveiled in July - but the Supreme Court chose to reverse the decision in a brief order late in the day.
"Once again the Executive Branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution", Justice Sotomayor wrote.
The decision - temporarily in effect while lower court proceedings play out - is a victory for Trump's restrictive immigration policies, which he has made a central pillar of his presidency but which have been repeatedly challenged in court.
President Trump said he disagreed with the judge's ruling, and the idea of single federal judges issuing nationwide injunctions in general - a phenomenon that has exploded under his administration.
The rule would bar nearly all migrants from applying for asylum at the southern border.
U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar had blocked the Trump administration's approach.
The San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals on August 16 limited a federal judge's injunction blocking the rule to the nine Western states over which it has jurisdiction including the border states of California and Arizona.
Tigar ruled to restore the nationwide ban on Monday, but the 9th Circuit scaled it back again on Tuesday night. The court would then determine whether a stay should remain in effect.
The administration told the Supreme Court the rule "alleviates a crushing burden on the USA asylum system by prioritizing asylum seekers who most need asylum in the United States".
"The lives of thousands of families are at stake", Gelernt said in a statement.
Most people crossing the southern border are Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty. Bifurcated asylum rules would force it to "redesign its workshops and templates". The administration has said that it wants to close the gap between an initial asylum screening that most people pass and a final decision on asylum that most people do not win. They accused the administration of pursuing an "asylum ban" and jeopardizing the safety and security of migrants fleeing persecution and seeking safety in the United States. That had left open the possibility that the rule could be applied in the two other border states, Texas and New Mexico.