Judge Leans Toward Blocking Trump Asylum Restriction Nationwide

September 6, 2019by Joel Rosenblatt and Edvard Pettersson
A United Nations agency, with funding from the U.S. State Department, is transporting thousands of immigrants from the U.S.-Mexico border back to Central America in a program that has drawn the ire of migrant legal advocates. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge signaled he will probably block the Trump administration from enforcing restrictions on asylum applications anywhere along the Mexican border while the legality of the policy announced in July is being challenged.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar said at a hearing Thursday in Oakland that he thinks there’s adequate justification to order a nationwide halt to a policy that barred migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. if they first passed through another nation without seeking protection.

In July, Tigar issued a preliminary injunction, agreeing that the immigration advocates who sued were likely to win. That injunction prevents the administration from implementing the rule while its legality is challenged in court. The federal appeals court in San Francisco denied the administration’s request to put the injunction on hold but limited its effect only to the states within the court’s jurisdiction, including California and Arizona.

Tigar told lawyers Thursday that he has the power to reinstate the injunction nationwide as long as it’s justified.

“I do think that I have the authority to make a clear ruling in favor of my prior injunction, if I believe the record supports that ruling,” he said.

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Rosenblatt reported from San Francisco, Pettersson from Los Angeles.

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©2019 Bloomberg News

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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