Thursday, July 25, 2019

BREAKING: Judge Temporarily Blocks Trump Administration’s Asylum Restrictions

Photo: eduardo jaramillo castro/AFP/Getty Images
Nationwide preliminary injunction undoes earlier ruling from federal judge that allowed asylum rules to stay in place
A federal judge in California halted the Trump administration’s bid to cut off Central American asylum claims.
The Wednesday ruling came hours after a federal judge in Washington, D.C., had said he would allow new rules released in mid-July to remain in effect while courts weigh a legal challenge against them.
U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the rules, which effectively force most migrants fleeing poverty and violence to lodge asylum claims in the first country to which they travel rather than at the U.S. border. The injunction goes into effect immediately.
Judge Tigar, an appointee of former President Obama, previously blocked an earlier asylum restriction by the Trump administration in response to a challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union.
“The court recognized, as it did with the first asylum ban, that the Trump administration was attempting an unlawful end run around asylum protections enacted by Congress,” said ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt.
A Justice Department official said that the bar for the decision fell well within the authority granted by Congress to the attorney general. “The district court was wrong to conclude otherwise, to second-guess the agencies’ expert policy judgment, and to halt this critical measure on a nationwide basis,” the official said.
Earlier Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly had denied a request for a temporary restraining order sought by two immigrant-rights organizations, saying that the groups had failed to show that they—as opposed to the immigrants they serve—would suffer irreparable harm if the rules weren’t blocked.
“I do not find that the plaintiffs have met that high standard,” said the judge, an appointee of President Trump. “The plaintiffs before me are not asylum seekers affected by this rule.”
The California legal challenge came from the ACLU, whose lawyer, Mr. Gelernt, told the court Wednesday that Congress was well aware that most asylum seekers came to the U.S. through other countries and had opted not to bar them from lodging claims in the U.S.
The groups in the Washington case, the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, had also argued the administration was overstepping its authority.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE.

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