Supreme Court rules that a non-citizen gang spouse doesn’t have automatic right to admission to USA


A U.S. citizen does not have a fundamental liberty interest in her noncitizen spouse being admitted to the country, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday. Especially if that spouse is associated with a deadly gang and is reasonably thought to intend to break the law in the United States.

In Department of State v. Munoz, the justices were asked if Sandra Munoz, a U.S. citizen in Los Angeles, could invoke a “fundamental right of marriage.” The State Department does not deny that Muñoz (who is already married) has that fundamental right, but Munoz further claimed the right to reside with her noncitizen spouse in the United States — a man whom officials believe belongs to an international criminal gang.

Munoz is described as a prominent civil rights attorney in Los Angeles. Her husband, Luis Asensio-Cordero, is El Salvadoran, and during his interview with the consulate, officials conducted a body search and found tattoos indicating he is a member of the MS-13 gang. They denied him a green card.

“After conducting several interviews with Asencio-Cordero, a consular officer denied his application, citing §1182(a)(3)(A)(ii), a provision that renders inadmissible a noncitizen whom the officer ‘knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, seeks to enter the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in’ certain specified offenses or ‘any other unlawful activity,’” the decision explained. Asencio-Cordero guessed that he was denied a visa based on a finding that he was a member of MS–13, a transnational criminal gang.

El Salvador is known to be infested with criminal gangs, with many members committing crimes in the United States.

Although Asencio-Cordero disavowed any gang membership and he and Muñoz pressed the consulate to reconsider the officer’s finding, the ruling stood, so they appealed to the Department of State, which agreed with the consulate’s determination. Asencio-Cordero and Muñoz then sued the Department of State and others (collectively, State Department), claiming that it had abridged Muñoz’s constitutional liberty interest in her husband’s visa application by failing to give a sufficient reason why Asencio-Cordero is inadmissible under the “unlawful activity” bar. The Department of State said it is not required to give a reason. The District Court granted summary judgment to the State Department, but the Ninth Circuit vacated the judgment, holding that Muñoz had a constitutionally protected liberty interest in her husband’s visa application.

The Supreme Court has overturned that ruling in an opinion written by Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

The 6-3 vote was opposed by Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Jackson, the Democrat-appointed liberal women of the court who interpret then Constitution as granting the right to marry a gang member who is a non-citizen and then move that person to the United States to engaged in felonies.

Read the opinion at this Supreme Court link.


  1. Follow-up would be if there is a constitutional right for a resident spouse to prevent the deporting an illegal spouse. Might affect Biden’s latest gift to illegals married to residents.

  2. MS-13 originated in Los Angeles by El Salvadoran undocumented immigrants. They were deported as they were convicted of crimes and infiltrated the Central American prison system. The statements by Conservatives on the origin of MS-13 belie the facts

    • The gang’s origins can be traced to El Salvador in the 1970s, when the country was on the brink of a civil war between government forces and the insurgent group Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), which claimed to represent Salvadorans in the bottom social and economic tiers. The bloody conflict left some 900,000 people displaced, thousands of whom fled to the United States and migrated to largely Hispanic areas of southern Los Angeles. Most of these areas in Los Angeles were already inundated with powerful Mexican gangs who preyed on weaker cultural groups. So as not to be victimized, former members of the FMLN and other refugees formed Mara Salvatrucha in the early 1980s; according to some sources, the name derived from the slang terms mara (“gang”) and salvatruchas (“street-tough Salvadorans”).

    • I don’t see what facts are misconstrued Frank. They are mainly an El Salvador violent gang, does it matter where it started? What’s your problem?

  3. So what the whack jobs on SCOTUS are saying is that any American citizen can determine who comes into the USA simply by marriage.

    Lets assume this hypothetical: An insane American woman wants to marry Osama Bin Laden. Once they marry, she can bring Osama into the USA. For this example we assume this marriage happens before the international arrest warrants were issued after Osama murdered 3,000 Americans.

    Democrats have lost their minds. They are dangerous, and destroying our country.

  4. What I find interesting is why this guy did not just jump the fence like all the other illegals, get “processed” with a court date in 10 years and released into the country?
    I suspect that it has to do with the Mrs. being an officer of the court and could be disbarred for aiding and abetting.
    This also proves one other thing, the legal immigration process as set up in law and policy works and should be the ONLY way for immigrants to come to this country.

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