Supreme Court allows Trump administration to enforce toughest restriction yet on migrant asylum requests

Image: U.S. Border Agents Patrol The Rio Grande Valley In Texas
Families, mostly from Central America, wait to be transported to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing center after they crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico and presented themselves to border agents on Sept. 10, 2019 in Los Ebanos, Texas. Copyright John Moore Getty Images
By Pete Williams with NBC News Politics
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A lawsuit to stop the new policy is still working its way through the lower courts.

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The U.S. Supreme Court late Wednesday gave the Trump administration permission to enforce its toughest restriction yet on asylum seekers at the southern border, even though a lawsuit to stop the new policy is still working its way through the lower courts.

As a result, the government can now refuse to consider a request for asylum from anyone who failed to apply for it in another country after leaving home but before coming here. As a practical matter, it means that migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador cannot seek asylum in the U.S. if they didn't first ask for it in Mexico.

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