Judge bars U.S. from enforcing Trump asylum ban

Frederick Owens
November 21, 2018

But the 28-year-old businessman, who has scars on his face from an acid attack while he was protesting against the Nicaragua government, says he doesn't want to do anything illegal.

Mr Trump's administration has argued that he has the executive power to curb immigration in the name of national security - a power he invoked right after taking office a year ago with a controversial ban on travelers from several mostly Muslim countries.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the measures were put in place after officials "were notified that a large number of caravan migrants were planning to rush the border in an attempt to gain illegal access to the U.S".

Earlier Tuesday, a federal judge issued the order invalidating the policy change by President Donald Trump meant to prohibit illegal aliens from receiving amnesty.

Administration officials say anyone who manages to get across can request asylum and subsequently often vanish while their case languishes in the court system.

In his ruling, Tigar said Congress clearly mandated that immigrants can apply for asylum regardless of how they entered the country.

In issuing the asylum ban, Trump used the same powers he used a year ago to impose a travel ban that was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar of San Francisco, appointed by former President Barack Obama, issued a restraining order of the Trump administration's effort to deny asylum to migrants trying to cross the southern border illegally.

The president's travel ban for majority-Muslim countries was blocked by judges in the 9th Circuit, but the Supreme Court later ruled the action was within the president's authority.

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President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on November 9 that said anyone who crossed the southern border between official ports of entry would be ineligible for asylum.

Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a group that has been assisting the migrants, rejected Nielsen's statements and said the lane closures were aimed at stoking "fury and impatience" by blocking USA citizens who had to wait to gain entry from Tijuana.

Members of a migrant caravan from Central America and their supporters sit on the top of the U.S. -Mexico border wall at Border Field State Park before making an asylum request, in San Diego, California, U.S. April 29, 2018.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not immediately comment on the ruling, which will remain in effect for one month barring an appeal. "There is no justifiable reason to flatly deny people the right to apply for asylum, and we can not send them back to danger based on the manner of their entry".

Fresco, who also served as the deputy assistant attorney general for the Office of Immigration Litigation at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Division, believes the legal battle over this order is only just beginning.

Trump sent more than 5,000 soldiers to the 2,000-mile (3,100 km) frontier with Mexico to harden the border, although critics dismissed the move as a political stunt ahead of congressional elections on November 6.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and some of the thousands of troops Trump ordered to the border last month briefly shut down lanes at the San Ysidro port on Monday to set up additional barriers with concrete and concertina wire.

"We don't condone people entering between ports of entry, but Congress has made the decision that if they do, they still need to be allowed to apply for asylum", he said.

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