/ Modified oct 20, 2020 11:25 a.m.

SCOTUS to hear border wall and asylum seeker suits

A federal appeals court recently ruled the administration was illegally using military funds to pay for 11 segments of the wall.

trump wall President Donald Trump stands at a section of border wall on the southern border near Yuma, June 23, 2020.
Shealah Craighead/White House/Flickr

The Supreme Court has decided to take up a two-year legal battle between rights groups and the Trump administration over the funding for segments of the border wall.

President Donald Trump vowed to complete 450 miles of new border wall. Customs and Border Protection has diligently tracked the progress and says now 371 miles have gone up since Monday.

Recently, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the administration was illegally using military funds to pay for 11 segments of the wall. But construction has continued and the court won’t hear the case until next year. At that point, the border wall will likely be complete.

Dror Ladin heads the ACLU’s lawsuit against the Trump administration over the matter and says the fight won’t end there.

"If the court agrees with us, they can always order the wall be taken down," he said. The ACLU had previously asked for an injunction to halt the border wall construction while the case was heard but lost.

The presidential election is 15 days away. If Joe Biden wins, he has said he’ll stop construction. But he hasn’t said whether he’ll withdraw the government’s petition to the Supreme Court.

The court will also hear a suit against the administration's so-called Remain in Mexico program. Under the program, asylum seekers are returned to Mexico to await their hearing before a U.S. immigration judge. But the program was stalled last spring when the coronavirus hit and asylum seekers have now been waiting for months just to get a hearing.

For more, visit Fronteras Desk.

Fronteras Desk
Fronteras Desk is a KJZZ project covering important stories in an expanse stretching from Northern Arizona deep into northwestern Mexico.
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