Supreme Court to hear border wall funding and 'remain in Mexico' cases

ABC News consultant Kate Shaw discusses what’s at stake with the border wall funding showdown and the so-called “remain in Mexico” asylum case before SCOTUS.
5:04 | 10/20/20

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Transcript for Supreme Court to hear border wall funding and 'remain in Mexico' cases
To the Supreme Court which today agreed to hear cases involving two contentious trump administration policies. Border wall funding and this so called stay in Mexico policy for asylum seekers we all remember trumps 2016. Campaign promise. The I. Okay. I. It. Mexico did not paying for the wall but the administration was able to Denver ten billion dollars in military funds and secured another. Five billion dollars from congress to pay for border wall construction. The administration says it's now built 305 miles of primary border wall though just sixteen miles have been built where none previously existed. Most of the construction has been a replacement of existing barriers with these. Towering steel structures but how this is funded is now before the Supreme Court and to help us make sense and all we bring in. Tee shot on constitutional law professor at Cardozo law school in an ABC news consultant thanks so much for joining us Kate. Humans needed to be with you. So what's the legal issue here and with the timing so close to election will court ruling have much practical impact at all. You do so and you mentioned the president's campaign promise that Mexico pay for the Wallace is that of course never happened and that congress never appropriated the money to pay for the while our right that the president and his administration for seeking. You might remember back in December 2018 in January 2019. There was an impasse between congress and the White House. That led to a partial government shutdown of 35 days all over funding for this Porter walked congress never really produce the money that the administration was asking for. And so just as you said he has written to essentially be directing. A fund that had been appropriated for other purposes and so the legal question here is without lawful could the president take money congress had intended for other purposes. And redirect them to pay for the sport hall the lower courts have said no without wasn't lawful so that's the question before the Supreme Court. What the administration acting within the boundaries of the law when it sought to move these funds. I'm terms of the timing. Your right to because for on the eve of the election it is possible that if if Joseph Biden wins the election and changes the policy right stops the construction that is ongoing. That would essentially moved the case so there would be no more live legal issue the case but essentially go away. Obviously if president trump is reelected this will remain an important case pending before the Supreme Court later this year or perhaps early next year. And the court will also hear case concerning the so called stay in Mexico policy what is this and why has it been challenged. So this is another cup administration. In this day initiative also sort of in the immigration domain. And this one essentially would have changed the rules regarding. The pursuit of asylum to require asylum seekers. To wait in Mexico for the processing of their asylum claims which was a real break with previous US policy asked to asylum. And in that case to lower courts found for the company castration. I had violated the law when it changed its policy action violated both US statutory law and international standards regarding the treatment of asylum seekers and in that case to the top administration is hoping that the Supreme Court will side with it. And it will prevail which is to not do in the lower courts and their two if Joseph Biden wins the election it is almost certain that this policy will be changed and us this this case to will no longer present a live dispute for the Supreme Court to these could be. Very significant cases if president trump is reelected and most likely will go away if he is not. And what would the long term impact on the US immigration law would be if the court does in fact wolf for the trump administration on this month. Well so so this you know and challengers have said that they basically. This policy is intentionally the very purposes of asylum it is an important principle both under US law and under international law. Essentially to allow individuals who have claims of asylum that they are fleeing persecution. On the basis of some protected status. To remain in the United States tied to how their claims adjudicated. And so this is a real break with existing policy also remember a lot of these asylum seekers. Have no connection to the country of Mexico and all they've come from somewhere else and yet are being forced remain. I counters say at an extraordinarily harsh and dangerous conditions in Mexico. Two awaiting adjudication of potentially meritorious claims that they are entitled. Under US and international law to asylum. And so I exposed to bless this policy would mark a real change from existing US line practice. Met and again the lower courts haven't done that. But certainly Beano with a 63 conservative majority Supreme Court within sight. It seems quite possible that the trump administration could prevail if the court actually does reach the merits of this policy. Lot on the line their case shocked thank you so much. Thank you Lindsey.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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