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Photo: Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday lifted a district court's block on a Trump administration rule that would prevent almost all Central American migrants from applying for asylum in the U.S.

The big picture: The Trump rule, first introduced in July, forces migrants fleeing their home countries to apply for asylum in one of the first countries they pass through, or face ineligibility for asylum once they reach the southern border of the U.S. It has faced numerous legal challenges and was twice temporarily blocked by a California judge.

  • The rule is among the toughest and broadest immigration restrictions imposed by the Trump administration and will be now enforced nationally against asylum seekers as the legal case against it continues.
  • The number of Central American families crossing the southern border has reached crisis levels as they're driven from horrors and poverty at home toward a broken immigration system in the U.S., Axios' Stef Kight reported earlier this year.
  • There's no single reason for the border crisis, but droughts, political instability, a booming U.S. economy, technological advancements and asylum backlogs all play a role.

What they're saying: Justice Sonia Sotomayor — one of 2 dissenters along with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — argues in her opinion: "Once again, the Executive Branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution."

  • Trump tweeted in response to the ruling: "BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum!"

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper: Why the migrant crisis is happening now

Go deeper

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.

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