A Trump administration initiative to curb asylum claims by Central Americans seeking entry into the U.S. was thwarted by a federal judge, who restored a nationwide injunction that blocks restrictions from being enforced, the Wall Street Journal reports. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in Oakland, Ca., said that blocking the rules across the U.S. was the only practical way to proceed while the asylum restrictions are challenged in court. The judge previously ruled that the restrictions were likely unlawful. Tigar first blocked the asylum restrictions nationwide in July, only to see the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit his injunction last month. That latter ruling said the restrictions couldn’t be enforced against Central Americans who arrive at the border in California and Arizona, states that are within the Ninth Circuit. The appeals court allowed the White House to enforce the rules in New Mexico and Texas, which are outside of the court’s jurisdiction.
The Ninth Circuit left open the possibility that Tigar could again block the rules across the U.S. if he could offer stronger legal rationale for doing so. The judge took that path Monday, providing additional explanations for why he reached his decision. “The court continues to recognize the gravity of this situation and the reality that asylum-seekers face grave danger along the entire southern border,” said Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who argued the case for the plaintiffs. The Trump administration already has an emergency appeal in the case at the Supreme Court. The administration asked the high court to enforce the asylum restrictions across the U.S. while the litigation continues. “Immigration and border security policy cannot be run by any single district court judge who decides to issue a nationwide injunction,” the White House said.