It’s probably a pie-in-the-sky notion, given the toxic political atmosphere in Washington, but last week’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court allowing the Trump administration’s asylum limits to take effect should be a wake-up call to politicians who so far have shown no real interest in a compromise to address illegal immigration.
The court’s ruling, with only two dissenters, allows the U.S. to begin denying asylum requests from migrants at the southern border who have traveled through Mexico or another country without seeking protection there. The decision overturned a lower court’s blocking of the rule, while the case winds its way through the court system.
And it means people from Central America, South America, Africa and elsewhere who have migrated through Mexico fleeing persecution in their native countries can no longer show up and make their first asylum claim in the United States. That makes a certain amount of sense. The doctrine of asylum permits people to flee dangerous situations at home, but it doesn’t necessarily allow them to pick where they want to go simply because economic opportunities are better there.
We don’t know what the final legal determination will be. That could take a year or two. But why wait? Ultimately, it’s the job of Congress and the president to get the country a fair immigration system that works for immigrants and our nation.