The Supreme Court on Tuesday shut down an attempt to treat the testimony of asylum-seekers as credible, siding with the federal government against people seeking refuge in the country.
The court unanimously found that a previous ruling from the California-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit had incorrectly ruled that in immigration cases, noncitizens' testimonies must be treated as credible or true. The court vacated the 9th Circuit's decision and sent it back to lower courts for further consideration.
In the case, two men, Cesar Alcaraz-Enriquez and Ming Dai, had sought to remain in the United States but were found ineligible based on discrepancies in their testimonies. Alcaraz-Enriquez was accused of lying about beating and raping his girlfriend. Dai was accused of omitting a visit to China when he claimed he was fleeing the communist country.
Both cases, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote, the 9th Circuit was wrong to interfere because of a technical question. That court, he said, had no place in imposing its own rules on the administrative requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act when immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals govern that area.
"The Ninth Circuit’s rule has no proper place in a reviewing court's analysis," Gorsuch wrote of the circuit's decision to presume credibility on the part of the two men.