Native of Sri Lanka, Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam tried to sneak his ass into this country through the Mexican border. However, his stealth skills were less than spectacular, and he got caught. He’s a part of a minority group in Sri Lanka known as a Tamil. It’s not a religious sect, it is just about where they’re originally from, similar to native Americans here.
He asked not to be sent back, because he argued he’d be tortured and such, if he did go back, due to his being a Tamil. But an asylum officer felt like he was full of shit, and just using that as an excuse, which is obviously quite common.
There’s an expedited removal process, passed in 1996, which basically says if your dumb ass gets caught near the border coming here illegally, officers can just send you back, without having to send you through some bureaucracy system, costing taxpayers a shitload of money.
But in Vijay’s case, since he claimed fear of persecution, that complicates things a bit, and he at least gets an opportunity to be heard on that issue, called a credible-fear interview.
While Vijay claimed he’d been attacked and severely beaten, and the officer felt that story was likely true (maybe there were scars to substantiate?), he didn’t really show how this was because he was Tamil, and that it wasn’t just some random act of violence.
Vijay filed a habeus motion (a fancy way of exercising their constitutional right to challenge the government’s right to hold them in prison) to stay his removal, because he argued the interpreter was shit, and that the officer reviewing his case, didn’t hear or understand all the facts, and therefore his credible-fear interview wasn’t worth a damn.
But, in the law surrounding the expedited removal process, Congress ordered that judges may only consider three subjects:
- Was Vijay not an American resident
- Had the officer issued a valid removal order
- Had Vijay been given asylum or allowed permanent residence before
Since Vijay’s argument was basically over a language barrier, the courts told him to fuck off.
So now SCOTUS has to decide if the courts can in fact consider Vijay’s argument under the Constitutional habeus rule, and give judicial review to his claim. Or if the expedited-deportation law usurps that.
The government argues, habeus right do not apply to everyone in the world, but only to Americans, which Vijay is not.
In a 7:2 decision, SCOTUS told Vijay to go suck a bag of dicks. That basically, a non-citizen who is here illegally only has certain rights specifically afforded to non-citizens. Due process, being one of those.
So back to Sri Lanka Vijay goes.