Supreme Court Smacks Down False Testimony

n Tuesday, the Supreme Court smacked down an attempt to treat asylum-seekers’ testimony as credible, ultimately siding with the federal government with regards to individuals trying to obtain refuge in the United States.

In the unanimous decision, the Court determined that a prior ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which was based in California, made an incorrect ruling regarding immigration cases. Specifically, the 9th Circuit ruling argued that all asylum-seekers’ personal testimonies must be treated as both credible and true. However, the Court promptly vacated that decision and kicked it back down to lower courts for additional consideration and rumination.

The specific case involves two different men, Ming Dai and Cesar Alcaraz-Enriquez, who attempted to remain in the United States. These men were ultimately determined to be ineligible due to the discovery of discrepancies in their personal testimonies. For instance, Dai did not disclose a visit to China after claiming he was fleeing from the communist nation. On the other hand, Alcaraz-Enriquez was also caught lying over raping and beating his girlfriend.

For these cases, Justice Neil Gorsuch indicated that was wrong for the Ninth Circuit to interfere due to a technical question, and he also noted that the California-based court had no business attempting to impose its own rules into the various administrative requirements associated with the Immigration and Nationality Act, especially when the Board of Immigration Appeals and various immigration judges are in charge of governing that area.

Consequently, the ruling of the Ninth Circuit “has no proper place in reviewing a court’s analysis,” Gorsuch added. In addition, Gorsuch also remarked that Congress is also tasked with requiring judicial deference to the factual findings of the Board of Immigrations Appeals.

Gorsuch also focused on the importance of actual facts in his ruling, noting that when the INA provides specific details regarding the “circumstances surrounding Mr. Alcaraz-Enriquez’s prior conviction of Mr. Dai’s alleged persecution,” then reviewing courts must accept the INA’s findings and discoveries “unless any reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to conclude to the contrary.”

This case marks one of several immigration decisions to have recently emerged from the Supreme Court. For instance, this past April, Gorsuch spearheaded an extraordinary coalition of both conservative and liberal justices in order to decide against the federal government regarding a deportation question. The Court has also addressed several immigration cases from the Trump administration, which remained pending after Biden assumed office and began to reverse several of Trump’s policies.