A federal judge has blocked President Trump’s plan to bar people who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border without going through a port of entry from applying for asylum, saying that the move “irreconcilably conflicts” with federal law and the “expressed intent of Congress.”
In a 37-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar issued a temporary restraining order blocking the Trump administration from implementing the plan for the next 30 days until a December 19 hearing.
“Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” Tigar wrote, rejecting the government’s claims that the new rule “can somehow be harmonized” with the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The INA states simply that anyone “who is physically present or who arrives” in the U.S. can apply for asylum “whether or not at a designated port of arrival.”
“Considering the text and structure of the statute, as well as the interpretive guide of the U.N. Protocol, reveals Congress’s unambiguous intent. The failure to comply with entry requirements such as arriving at a designated port of entry should bear little, if any, weight in the asylum process,” Tigar wrote.
“This ban is illegal, will put people’s lives in danger, and raises the alarm about President Trump’s disregard for separation of powers,” said Gelernt. “There is no justifiable reason to flatly deny people the right to apply for asylum, and we cannot send them back to danger based on the manner of their entry. Congress has been clear on this point for decades.”
by Paul Ingram