Judge Jon Tigar issued a national order in July blocking the rule that would allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deny most of the asylum claims that are registered at the Mexican border.
The measure directly affected Central American immigrants fleeing their countries because of violence and poverty and they cross Mexican territory before reaching the border and surrendering to federal immigration authorities to ask for government protection.
The measure, called the Interim Final Rule (IFR), was announced after the Trump administration failed to reach agreements with Mexico and Guatemala to make them 'safe third country'.
But then the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ruled that federal immigration authorities can refuse asylum to immigrants in the states of New Mexico and Texas, both busiest areas for border crossings, but they couldn't do it in California and Arizona, which are under their jurisdiction.
Judge Tigar has now reordered the government that it cannot implement this rule and ordered the administration to continue accepting petitions along the Mexican border.
Judge Tigar wrote in the opinion that “a national court order is backed by the need to maintain a uniform immigration policy ” throughout the borders, and notes that, in immigration matters, "we have consistently recognized the authority of the district courts to impose illegal policies on a universal basis."
Tigar said the ruling issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which released the rule except in the states of California and Arizona, "I was in conflict with current law" and I was going to create "important administration problems."
Finally, the judge concluded that, although the precautionary measures at national level are not the "general rule", they are appropriate "when such amplitude (is) necessary to remedy the plaintiff's damage".
Consequently, he adds, "and for the reasons stated above, the court grants the motion of the organizations (claimants) to restore the scope of the precautionary measure at the national level."
What is the IFR about
The asylum rule ordered by Trump in July said that “specifically, the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and National Security (DHS) are reviewing to add a new eligibility requirement for asylum of a foreigner entering or attempting to enter the country to across the southern border, but that did not apply for protection against persecution or torture when it was available in at least a third country outside the country of citizenship, nationality or last legal habitual residence of the foreigner through which he or she traveled in route to the United States. "
The ACLU then responded through its Twitter social network account, stating: "The Trump administration is trying unilaterally to reverse the legal and moral commitment to protect people fleeing danger. This new measure is obviously illegal. We will demand it quickly. "
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The Trump administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country & # 39; s legal and moral commitment to protect people who are fleeing danger.
This new rule is patently unlawful. We will sue swiftly. https://t.co/38RrhAQHHc
& mdash; ACLU (@ACLU) July 15, 2019
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According to DHS interim secretary Kevin McAleenan, the goal of the measure is to help " reduce the factor that drives irregular migration to the United States causing fewer individuals to travel through Mexico on a dangerous trip "until Congress acts.
McAleenan added that the IFR should reduce "overwhelming burdens in our internal system caused by asylum seekers who did not seek urgent protection in the first available country, economic migrants who lack legitimate fear of persecution and transnational criminal organizations, traffickers and smugglers who exploit our system for profit. "
The new norm was added to a long list of severe changes to the asylum policy ranging from the ban on the entry of citizens from Muslim-majority countries to the forced separation of families by presenting criminal charges to adults who entered undocumented or through unauthorized places on the Mexican border.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) applauded the ruling and said Judge Tigar's court had reinstated a nationwide court order that blocks Trump's asylum ban, which denies the benefit to anyone on the southern border. that has traveled through a third country en route to the United States.
"The court acknowledged that there is a serious danger to asylum seekers throughout the stretch of the southern border," Lee Gelernt, principal lawyer of the ACLU
In turn, Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said that “we are pleased that the court has recognized the reality on the ground, that Trump's asylum ban is affecting thousands of asylum seekers throughout the border, as it was intended to do illegally. and not only at the ports of entry of California and Arizona. "
"This decision levels the playing field for all vulnerable people and families seeking refuge in the United States," said Melissa Crow, senior supervising attorney for the Immigrant Justice Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“With this decision, regardless of where they cross the border, these people should be able to apply for asylum. Unfortunately, although this ruling eliminates a major obstacle, there are too many obstacles, since this administration's war against asylum seekers seems to know no limits, "he said.