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HomeNewsSupreme Court Rules Against US Citizens Automatically Bringing Noncitizen Spouses to America

Supreme Court Rules Against US Citizens Automatically Bringing Noncitizen Spouses to America

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The Supreme Court has recently made a couple of rulings that many people are not happy about. Now, the court has added to that list a ruling that states that U.S. citizens no longer have an automatic right to bring their spouses who are not citizens into the country. 

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Understandably, this has caused a huge ruckus among many Americans. 

The Ruling 

The Supreme Court has delivered a recent verdict that states that citizens of the United States of America are no longer privy to the automatic right to bring their spouses into the U.S. if they are noncitizens. 

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This decision resulted from a Californian woman’s case, which was in court for a while. She complained that she could not secure a green card for her husband, who was from El Salvador, a country in Central America. 

A Divided Ruling

The woman’s case was taken to the court of law after a court unexpectedly denied her husband’s visa application. Therefore, the Supreme Court justices voted on it and came out with a split decision of 6-3 votes, with the majority voting against the visa approval. 

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Since the decision was announced, there has been an uproar in the country as citizens view this as a huge step back for families. 

The Majority Justices 

According to Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a justice representing the majority vote, the court made this decision while considering several issues. She noted that the court had to consider all the factors at play, such as national security and foreign policies. 

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Justice Amy Coney Barrett
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Therefore, they could not make a decision based on family unity alone and had to consider issues that were deemed bigger. 

Bigger Powers at Play

President Joe Biden and his administration also played a huge part in this case. The president opposed the Supreme Court’s ruling in their favor. While the government had its reasons for doing so, many people were quite frustrated by the outcome. 

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Therefore, the debate on U.S. immigration policies has increased, and citizens and immigration rights groups have expressed their disappointment. 

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The Couple’s Story

Sandra Muñoz, a Californian workers’ rights attorney, is the woman involved in the case. She married her husband, Luis Asencio-Cordero, who is a Salvadoran, back in 2010. However, the couple has been involved in an elongated legal battle ever since. 

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When she applied for a spiral visa, she kept encountering many obstacles and delays with the U.S. immigration system, causing a lot of worry for the coupe. 

The Unexpected Outcome of One Interview 

The many challenges they were facing continued to increase and reached a peak in 2015 when the husband returned to El Salvador for a visa interview. It was supposed to be a standard interview, but this led to a separation between the couple after the U.S. denied Asencio-Cordero a return to the country. 

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They cited potential illegal activities as the reason for the decline but never gave a clear reason for the assumption. 

Rejection Based on Speculations 

A very long time after they denied his visa, the couple found out that a consular officer flagged Asencio-Cordero’s application due to possible gang affiliations simply because of his tattoos. However, the Salvadoran has defended his tattoos, claiming that they were not associated with gangs but with his intellect, beliefs, and faith. 

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Therefore, he believes that the assumptions are purely based on speculations. 

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The First Verdict Gave Them Hope 

The couple initially got a good verdict when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in their favor in 2022. The court stated that she had a liberty interest in her husband’s application and the right to a proper explanation for the denial. 

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This gave the couple hope for the future until the Supreme Court intervened and crushed all hope. 

A Complete Reversal 

The higher court overturned the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision, ruling that Muñoz did not have legal standing in Asencio-Cordero’s application even though he is her husband. The court declared that since he is not a citizen of the U.S., she was not entitled to an automatic visa approval. 

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The verdict also prevents her from ever appealing the decision and many believe this is a step that would affect many other people in the future. 

The Minority Justices

On the other hand, Justice Sonia Sotomayor was with the minority voters of the Supreme Court. She disagreed with the verdict, saying that the administration is supposed to give Muñoz and her husband clear reasons for the visa denials. 

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
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She also noted that this decision will negatively affect couples who are economically vulnerable or in same-sex marriages in the long run, and such policies are unfair to them.  

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Critics React 

Many advocates have also spoken up against this recent ruling, expressing their clear disappointment. 

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Charles Roth, who is a significant supporter of immigrant justice, has openly criticized the decision of the Supreme Court, saying that it is only preventing citizens from being separated from their spouses without any legal reason or chance for review. 

Biden Introduces New Policies 

This ruling came as President Joe Biden introduced a new policy designed to simplify the residency process for noncitizens who are married to U.S. nationals. 

President Joe Biden
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However, this new Supreme Court verdict will significantly reduce the number of people who will benefit from this policy. People like Muñoz cannot benefit from this policy and will continue facing unfair limitations with immigration. 

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