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Supreme Court Says US Citizens Don’t Have Constitutional Right To Bring In Non-Citizen Spouses

Supreme Court Says US Citizens Don't Have Constitutional Right To Bring In Non-Citizen Spouses %Post Title












The United States’ Supreme Court has ruled that American citizens do not have a constitutional right to bring their noncitizen spouses into the country.

In a 6-3 decision, the court reaffirmed Congress’s extensive authority to set immigration limits and the executive branch’s role in enforcing these laws.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, writing for the majority, stated, “We hold that a citizen does not have a fundamental liberty interest in her non-citizen spouse being admitted to the country.”

The case was initiated by Sandra Munoz, a U.S. citizen, who argued for the right to bring her husband, Luis Ascencio-Cordero from El Salvador, into the United States.

His visa was denied by the State Department due to suspected ties to the violent gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) based on his tattoos.

While would-be migrants generally lack the right to challenge visa denials, Ms. Munoz contended that the decision infringed upon her marriage rights, warranting the opportunity to argue against her husband’s alleged gang affiliation.

However, Justice Barrett emphasised that the harm Munoz experienced from the visa denial does not grant her a constitutional right to be involved in his consular process.

In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor argued that the decision undermines the fundamental right to marriage recognised in the court’s landmark Obergefell ruling on same-sex marriages. She asserted that Munoz has a constitutionally protected interest in her husband’s visa application, as its denial burdens her right to marriage.

Sotomayor further highlighted that this right extends to building a home, intimacy, and raising children together, and warranted more than a cursory denial from the government.

Analysts note that thousands of similar cases exist, their outcomes influenced by the ruling on Munoz’s case. Last year, the State Department approved 11 million visas and denied 62,000 applications, including 5,400 for individuals seeking to join their U.S. citizen partners.

The case has united the Biden administration and proponents of stricter immigration enforcement, who argue that U.S. citizens lack the right to contest a spouse’s deportation in court. They believe it would be illogical to create additional rights for someone outside the U.S. entirely. (SaharaReporters)

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