The U.S. Supreme Court handed the Trump administration a major victory Thursday, ruling that those who enter the United States seeking asylum from persecution elsewhere have no right to a federal court hearing.
The decision, on a 7-to-2 vote, allows the Trump administration to fast-track the deportation of thousands of immigrants who have claimed to be escaping from persecution and torture in their home countries.
That was the case of Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam, a Sri Lankan farmer who sought asylum, telling immigration officials that he had been abducted from his fields, blindfolded by men in a van, interrogated and beaten so badly with wooden sticks that he spent 11 days in the hospital.
Thuraissigiam is Tamil, an ethnic minority that has long been persecuted by the majority Sinhalese government in Sri Lanka. After the beating, he traveled for seven months to get to Mexico, where he crossed the border into the U.S., was arrested and asked for political asylum.