Federal judge blocks Trump’s new asylum restrictions

Federal judge blocks Trump’s new asylum restrictions
Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghgosian

President Donald Trump has been taking a hardline position on Central American asylum claims, pushing new rules that, in effect, force refugees seeking asylum to make their claims in the first country they venture to rather than at the U.S./Mexico border.


But on Wednesday, Judge U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar issued a preliminary injunction against the new rules.

This isn’t the first time that Tigar, an appointee of President Barack Obama, has blocked one of the Trump Administration’s asylum restrictions. Previously, he did so in response to a legal challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The ACLU’s Lee Gelernt, in response to that decision, stated, “The court recognized, as it did with the first asylum ban, that the Trump Administration was attempting an unlawful end-run around asylum protections enacted by Congress.”

Earlier on Wednesday, a different U.S. district judge, Timothy J. Kelly, denied a request for a temporary restraining order against the restrictions. The request came from two immigrants rights groups.

According to the Trump Administration’s new asylum restrictions, a refugee from Guatemala, for example, could not make an asylum claim at the U.S./Mexico border; that claim would have to be made in Mexico if Mexico were the first country the refugee reached after leaving Guatemala.

Central American refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. have been fleeing El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

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