Federal judge refuses to back down from asylum ruling
U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar refused to suspend his earlier ruling blocking the Trump administration from imposing new conditions on asylum seekers at the southern border, including the border with Texas. The Department of Justice had asked the federal judge to allow the administration to grant asylum only to those migrants who crossed the border with Mexico under new conditions imposed by Trump. However, the judge said that the administration had failed to meet its burden to show that its policy is legal under U.S. immigration law.
In addition, the judge highlighted the material harm that asylum seekers could face under the proposed restrictions, especially people with legitimate claims. The ruling came after several migrant rights groups filed a lawsuit to block a proclamation by President Trump on Nov. 9. The proclamation declared that the government would no longer allow applications for asylum from people who crossed the southern border without documents or a legal process. However, existing asylum law explicitly allows for asylum applications regardless of the legality of a given person’s entry into the country.
The judge noted this in his ruling, saying that the president does not have the authority to create conditions that were explicitly excluded by Congress when passing the law. The administration had sought to use national security guidelines to allow it to suspend existing U.S. immigration law at the border with Mexico.
People who are dealing with the immigration system may be particularly concerned about the Trump administration’s policy and rhetoric about migration. An immigration lawyer may be able to help people adjust their status, defend against deportation attempts and work to protect their right to stay in the country.