Trump demands Congress pass an immigration 'fix' after a stunning loss at the Supreme Court from the justice he appointed
Associated Press/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
- President Donald Trump is demanding Congress pass an immigration "fix" to allow the government to deport immigrants with certain criminal convictions.
- The demands come one day after Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with the court's four liberal-leaning justices to rule against the Trump administration.
- Trump and his administration have now switched their focus to Congress, urging the lawmakers to close what he calls "dangerous loopholes" in immigration law.
The federal government took a major blow at the Supreme Court on Tuesday when the President Donald Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with his liberal colleagues on a case involving immigrants convicted of crimes - one of the Trump administration's pet issues.
On Wednesday, the White House appeared to blame Congress for the loss. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that the ruling proves that lawmakers must close "dangerous loopholes" that allow immigrants to remain in the country despite certain criminal convictions.
"Yesterday's Supreme Court ruling preventing the removal of certain aliens convicted of aggravated felonies that constitute 'crimes of violence' highlights the danger posed by congressional inaction," the statement said. "It is a matter of vital public safety for Congress to act now."
Trump also tweeted about the ruling, though he didn't address the role Gorsuch played.
"This is a public safety crisis that can only be fixed by … Congress - House and Senate must quickly pass a legislative fix to ensure violent criminal aliens can be removed from our society," he wrote on Tuesday. "Keep America Safe!"
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
The case centered on an immigrant who had been convicted of residential burglary, and who faced deportation on the grounds that his crime was an "aggravated felony."
The dispute set off a legal battle over which offenses constitute a "crime of violence" and warrant deportation under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The Ninth Circuit federal appeals court initially struck down that law's provision as unconstitutionally vague, and the Supreme Court affirmed their ruling on Tuesday.
Gorsuch wrote in his opinion that vague laws "can invite the exercise of arbitrary power … by leaving the people in the dark about what the law demands and allowing prosecutors and courts to make it up."
Though many liberals and immigration advocates cheered Gorsuch's ruling, longtime observers of the top court noted that Gorsuch's decision wasn't out of the ordinary for the justice, who largely adheres to the legal ideology of his ultra-conservative predecessor, former Justice Antonin Scalia.
Gorsuch frequently criticizes laws he believes are too vaguely written, and his opinion on Tuesday even cited one of Scalia's previous rulings, which deplored of the "unpredictability and arbitrariness" that vagueness can invite.