Judge Halts Trump Move to Curb Asylum at Border

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Federal judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco temporarily halted President Trump’s move to restrict asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, reports Politico. Tigar’s ruling Monday suspends a fast-track regulation and presidential proclamation Nov. 9 that barred migrants who cross the border between ports of entry from seeking asylum. The ruling comes as caravans of Central American migrants are massing in Tijuana, an official port of entry. “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. “Asylum seekers will be put at increased risk of violence and other harms at the border, and many will be deprived of meritorious asylum claims.”

Trump, who said little about the caravans after the Nov. 6 election, has resumed tweeting about them. “The Mayor of Tijuana, Mexico, just stated that ‘the City is ill-prepared to handle this many migrants, the backlog could last 6 months,” Trump wrote Sunday. “Likewise, the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it. They are causing crime and big problems in Mexico. Go home!” In the case,  the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit on behalf of several nonprofits, argued that the presidential actions contradicted statutory language that allows migrants to apply for asylum “whether or not at a designated port of arrival.” The Trump administration said it had the authority to impose new restrictions on asylum because it’s a “discretionary immigration benefit.” DOJ told the court, “The rule and proclamation aim to save lives by discouraging asylum seekers from making dangerous, unlawful border crossings.”

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