Federal Judge Reinstates Nationwide Injunction Against Trump’s Asylum Rule

September 10, 2019by Maura Dolan
Mostly women and children are gathered at the Chaparral pedestrian area waiting to seek asylum on April 24, 2018, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. (Alejandro Tamayo/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge reinstated a nationwide injunction Monday against a Trump administration rule that would deny asylum to most immigrants at the southern border.

U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar, citing the need for a uniform immigration policy, issued a 14-page decision explaining why the injunction should not be limited to the western states within the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Trump’s new rule makes migrants ineligible for asylum if they passed through another country en route to the U.S. and failed to apply for protection in that country. Most asylum-seekers come from Central America.

Tigar first issued a nationwide injunction against the rule in July, but a three-judge 9th Circuit panel decided 2-1 to narrow it to the states within the circuit. The appeals court said Tigar had failed to justify the need for a nationwide order.

As a result, border officials in California and Arizona were not allowed to apply the new rule against asylum-seekers, but agents in Texas and New Mexico could.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center returned to Tigar’s courtroom last week and asked him to document the need for a nationwide order.

The 9th Circuit has said it would hold a hearing on the case in December.

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