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Judge Blocks Trump Admin’s Asylum Ban, Cites ‘Need to Maintain Uniform Immigration Policy’


A U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California who previously blocked the Trump Administration’s asylum ban — requiring any migrants passing through Central America to seek asylum in one the nations they pass through before applying in the U.S. — has doubled down on his nationwide injunction.

Judge Jon Tigar reasoned that the injunction was “supported by the need to maintain uniform immigration policy.”

As noted, Judge Tigar blocked the rule in July, but the judge’s injunction was overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The appeals court ruled that Tigar “erred by failing to consider whether nationwide relief [was]  necessary to remedy Plaintiffs’ alleged harms.”

“Based on the limited record before us, we do not believe a nationwide injunction is justified,” that court said.

It did not take long for attorneys the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) to respond to the latest news.

These organizations previously filed a lawsuit in response to the Trump Administration’s published rule to end asylum protections for most Central Americans. The key part of the rule:

[A]n alien who enters or attempts to enter the United States across the southern border after failing to apply for protection in a third country outside the alien’s country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence through which the alien transited en route to the United States is ineligible for asylum.

The plaintiffs argued that the new rule violated both the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

“The Rule directly violates Congress’s clear requirement that for a noncitizen to be denied asylum because of his or her relationship with a third country, the noncitizen had to be firmly resettled in that third country or subject to a safe third country agreement, as well as Congress’s requirement that asylum cannot be categorically denied based on an asylum seeker’s route to the United States,” the filing said. “It is also arbitrary and capricious.”

“Among other reasons, the Rule is arbitrary and capricious because, in adopting it, Defendants have failed to articulate a reasoned explanation for their decision, which represents a change in the agency’s longstanding policy; considered factors that Congress did not intend to be considered; entirely failed to consider important aspects of the problem; and offered explanations for their decision that run counter to the evidence before the agency,” the filing continued.

Judge Jon Tigar Doubles Down on Injunction by Law&Crime on Scribd

Matt Clibanoff contributed to this report.

[Image via LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.