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Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Asylum-Seekers Policy


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SAN FRANCISCO — Federal Judge Richard Seeborghas blocked the Trump administration’s policy of returning Central American migrants to Mexico while they wait for their asylum cases to be processed in the US. The ruling states that the preliminary injunction blocking the policy will take effect on Friday, April 12, 2019, at 5 p.m. PT.

“Defendants are hereby enjoined and restrained from continuing to implement or expand the ‘Migrant Protection Protocols’ as announced in the January 25, 2018, DHS policy memorandum and as explicated in further agency memoranda,” Seeborg wrote.

Seeborg’s decision represents the latest in a string of federal court rulings blocking sweeping immigration changes instituted by the Trump administration, including the travel ban, a ban on asylum for those who crossed the border without authorization, and the repeal of DACA, among others.

The long-liberal 9th Circuit, which has a sweeping purview over nine western states, has long been a thorn in the side of the Trump administration. Just weeks ago, the 9th Circuit broke ranks with another federal appellate court and ruled that a Sri Lankan man who failed his initial asylum screening had the constitutional right to go before a judge — threatening to clog the immigration court system further with tens of thousands of similar claims per year and setting up an all-but-certain Supreme Court showdown.

Trump, earlier this week, flatly stated that the “the asylum program is a scam,” often abused by thousands of migrants with phony stories hoping to take advantage of U.S. law.  “Some of the roughest people you have ever seen,” Trump said, referring to some fraudulent asylum applicants. “People that look like they should be fighting for the UFC.”

Asylum law is intended to shield individuals from near-certain death or persecution on account of limited factors like religious or political affiliation — not poor living conditions and economic despair. “Disgraceful. 9th Circuit would overturn my Thanksgiving turkey pardon if it could.” Trump said.

Lisa Duncan

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