Federal Judge Tosses Trump Asylum Policy, Calling it ‘Contrary to Law’

August 2, 2019 by Dan McCue
Doug Smith, center, of Upper Arlington holds a flag during a Vigil to End Human Detention at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio on July 12, 2019. "I think it's very troubling and un-American to keep asylum seekers and their children in detention camps," Smith said, "I think that opinion is supported by the majority of Americans." The vigil included speakers and music that sent the message to end the detention of asylum seekers at the U.S. and Mexico border. [Brooke LaValley/Dispatch]

WASHINGTON – A federal judge on Friday tossed a Trump administration policy that would only allow migrants who enter the country through legal ports of entry to apply for asylum.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss, an Obama appointee presiding in Washington, D.C., held the policy is inconsistent with the Immigration and Nationality Act and therefore “must … be set aside.”

The policy had already been blocked by a federal judge in San Francisco, whose temporary injunction is now the subject of an appeal before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Like Moss, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar held the policy, which President Trump enacted through an executive order last year, ran afoul of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which states that anyone in the United States can apply for asylum, regardless of whether they arrived at a port of entry.

“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.

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