In blow to Trumps immigration agenda, federal judge blocks asylum ban for migrants who enter illegally from Mexico

In blow to Trump\s immigration agenda, federal judge blocks asylum ban for migrants who enter illegally from Mexico
Judge bars U.S. from enforcing Trump asylum ban
A U.S. federal judge barred the Trump administration on Monday from refusing asylum to immigrants who cross the southern border illegally.

U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar issued a temporary restraining order after hearing arguments in San Francisco. The request was made by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Centre for Constitutional Rights, which quickly sued after U.S. President Donald Trump issued the ban this month in response to the caravans of migrants that have started to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Read more The radical restrictions are part of the administrations ongoing efforts to curtail immigration into the US, which led to the family separation crisis earlier in the year and the administrations policy of banning migrants from several Muslim-majority countries. But the policy is perhaps the most legally precarious given the wording of the Immigration and National Security Act.

Video: Judge Rules In Favor Of Asylum-Seekers

In his ruling, Tigar said Congress clearly mandated that immigrants can apply for asylum regardless of how they entered the country. The judge called the latest rules an "extreme departure" from prior practice.

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued before Judge Jon Tigar on Monday that the administrations new rule violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, which states that any person present in the US can claim asylum irrespective of how they entered the country. The applicants are requesting the judge issue a temporary restraining order on the rule.

"Whatever the scope of the president's authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden," Tigar wrote.

The Trump administration issued a new rule on 9 November that effectively banned migrants from claiming asylum if they crossed the US border outside of a designated port of entry. The rule, issued by presidential decree, penalises thousands of migrants, many of whom are mothers and children fleeing violence in Central America, who cross the border illegally.

Cant rewrite law: Judge bars Donald Trump from denying asylum to illegal migrants

Previous Trump immigration policies, including measures targeting sanctuary cities, have also been blocked by the courts.

The administration is trying to override what Congress has done, argued Lee Gelerent, deputy director of the ACLUs immigration rights project. He added: Entering between a port of entry has no bearing on what danger you may be in.

Trump issued a proclamation on Nov. 9 that said anyone who crossed the southern border would be ineligible for asylum. The regulations, which will remain in place for three months absent a court order, could potentially make it harder for thousands of people who enter the U.S. to avoid deportation.

"Individuals are entitled to asylum if they cross between ports of entry," said Baher Azmy, a lawyer for the Centre for Constitutional Rights. "It couldn't be clearer."

Trumps administration has argued that he has the executive power to curb immigration in the name of national security, a power he invoked right after taking office last year with a controversial ban on travellers from several mostly Muslim countries.

In recent years, tens of thousands of immigrants each year have shown up in the Arizona desert or on the north bank of the Rio Grande in Texas, surrendered to immigration agents and requested asylum. The Department of Homeland Security estimates around 70,000 people a year claim asylum between official ports of entry.

The American Civil Liberties Union says US law stipulates that the right to request asylum must be granted to anyone entering the country, regardless of whether they do so at an official port of entry or come in informally.

Around 3,000 people from the first of the caravans have arrived in Tijuana, Mexico, across the border from San Diego, California. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Monday that it closed off northbound traffic for several hours at the San Ysidro crossing. It has also installed movable, wire-topped barriers, apparently to stop a potential mass rush of people.

In his ruling, Tigar said Congress clearly mandated that immigrants and refugees can apply for asylum regardless of how they entered the country. The judge called the latest rules an “extreme departure” from prior practice.

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As of Monday, 107 people detained between official crossings have sought asylum since Trump's order went into effect, according to DHS, which oversees Customs and Border Protection. Officials didn't say whether those people's cases were still progressing through other avenues left to them after the proclamation.

Caravan participants began to arrive last week in Tijuana on the Mexican side of the US border, which has put a strain on shelters where many will wait to seek asylum. Their presence has also strained Tijuana’s reputation as a welcoming city, with some residents screaming at the migrants, “Get out!”

DHS has said it wants asylum seekers at the southern border to appear at an official border crossing. But many border crossings like San Ysidro already have long wait times. People are often forced to wait in shelters or outdoor camps on the Mexican side, sometimes for weeks.

ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt said that some people seeking asylum cross between official ports because "they're in real danger," either in their countries of origin or in Mexico.

US District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order against the asylum rules. Tigar’s order takes effect immediately, applies nationwide, and lasts until at least Dec. 19 when the judge scheduled a hearing to consider a more long-lasting injunction.

"We don't condone people entering between ports of entry, but Congress has made the decision that if they do, they still need to be allowed to apply for asylum," he said.

At a hearing earlier on Monday, American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt said the order clearly conflicted with the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows any person present in the United States to seek asylum, regardless of how they entered the country.

Judge Bars Trump From Denying Asylum To Those Who Enter US Illegally

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A caravan of central American migrants have made their way through Mexico to the border, seeking entry to the United States. Some 3,000 people have arrived in Tijuana, Mexico, right across the border from San Diego, California, prompting security services to close off a highway connection between the two cities and install mobile wire-topped barriers.

U.S. President Donald Trump takes the stage to speak at a campaign rally in Indianapolis, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on November 9 saying that anyone who crossed the southern border would be ineligible for asylum. At least 107 people have been detained for claiming asylum outside of official crossing points since the order came into effect.

HOUSTON — A federal judge barred the Trump administration from refusing asylum to immigrants who cross the southern border illegally.

Thousands of Central Americans walking through Mexico in a large group in an effort to reach the US have continued on their way after being blocked on a bridge. They may be met by troops at the border. (27.10.2018)  

President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Nov. 9 that said anyone who crossed the southern border between official ports of entry would be ineligible for asylum. As the first of several caravans of migrants have started arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump said an asylum ban was necessary to stop what hes attacked as a national security threat.

The US military will send more than 5,000 troops to secure the border as a caravan of migrants makes its way through Mexico. The number of troops being deployed is far higher than initially forecast. (29.10.2018)  

But in his ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar agreed with legal groups that immediately sued, arguing that U.S. immigration law clearly allows someone to seek asylum even if they enter the country between official ports of entry.

Judge Blocks the U.S. From Enforcing Trumps Asylum Ban

"Whatever the scope of the Presidents authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden," said Tigar, a nominee of former President Barack Obama.

Around 3,000 people from the first of the caravans have arrived in Tijuana, Mexico, across the border from San Diego, California. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Monday that it closed off northbound traffic for several hours at the San Ysidro crossing. It has also installed movable, wire-topped barriers, apparently to stop a potential mass rush of people.

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately comment on the ruling, which will remain in effect for one month barring an appeal. In issuing the ban, Trump used the same powers he used last year to impose a travel ban that was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court.

In recent years, tens of thousands of immigrants each year have shown up in the Arizona desert or on the north bank of the Rio Grande in Texas, surrendered to immigration agents and requested asylum. The Department of Homeland Security estimates around 70,000 people a year claim asylum between official ports of entry.

If enforced, the ban would potentially make it harder for thousands of people to avoid deportation. DHS estimates around 70,000 people a year claim asylum between official ports of entry. But Tigars ruling notes that federal law says someone may seek asylum if they have arrived in the United States, "whether or not at a designated port of arrival."

As of Monday, 107 people detained between official crossings have sought asylum since Trumps order went into effect, according to DHS, which oversees Customs and Border Protection. Officials didnt say whether those peoples cases were still progressing through other avenues left to them after the proclamation.

"Individuals are entitled to asylum if they cross between ports of entry," said Baher Azmy, a lawyer for the Center for constitutional Rights, which sued the government alongside the American Civil Liberties Union. "It couldnt be clearer."

Caravan participants began to arrive last week in Tijuana on the Mexican side of the US border, which has put a strain on shelters where many will wait to seek asylum. Their presence has also strained Tijuanas reputation as a welcoming city, with some residents screaming at the migrants, “Get out!”

A Federal Judge Questioned The Legal Basis For Trumps New Policy On Asylum-Seekers

Around 3,000 people from the first of the caravans have arrived in Tijuana, Mexico, across the border from San Diego, California. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Monday that it closed off northbound traffic for several hours at the San Ysidro crossing. It has also installed movable, wire-topped barriers, apparently to stop a potential mass rush of people.

Trump cited an overwhelmed immigration system for his recent proclamation that officials will only process asylum claims for migrants who present themselves at an official entry point. Civil rights groups sued, arguing that Trumps Nov 9 order violated administrative and immigration law.

As of Monday, 107 people detained between official crossings have sought asylum since Trumps order went into effect, according to DHS, which oversees Customs and Border Protection. Officials didnt say whether those peoples cases were still progressing through other, more difficult avenues left to them after the proclamation.

DHS has said it wants asylum seekers at the southern border to appear at an official border crossing. But many border crossings such as San Ysidro already have long wait times. People are often forced to wait in shelters or outdoor camps on the Mexican side, sometimes for weeks.

ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt said that some people seeking asylum cross between official ports because "theyre in real danger," either in their countries of origin or in Mexico.

"We dont condone people entering between ports of entry, but Congress has made the decision that if they do, they still need to be allowed to apply for asylum," he said.