Judge BLOCKS Biden’s new asylum policy that prevented immigrants from applying when they arrived in the US in a major blow to the White House
- Biden tightened asylum requirements at the border as Title 42 expired
- The measure was credited with reducing border encounters by 30 percent.
- But on Tuesday a federal judge in California blocked the measure.
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked President Joe Biden’s new border policy that tightened restrictions on immigrants seeking asylum.
He is credited with drastically reducing the number of illegal crossings.
Judge Jon Tigar of the Northern District Court of California stayed the ruling for 14 days to allow for a possible appeal.
Biden came to power vowing to reverse many of Donald Trump’s toughest measures.
But his administration introduced a new set of asylum restrictions earlier this year when Title 42, a pandemic-era measure that allowed many immigrants for immediate removal, expired.
President Joe Biden suffered a setback on Tuesday when border restrictions introduced with the expiration of Title 42 were blocked by a California judge.
Asylum-seeking migrants sit next to a chain-link fence as they wait to be transported by US law enforcement agents after crossing the Rio Grande River into the US from Mexico at Eagle Pass
It triggered multiple lawsuits by red states as well as refugee advocacy groups.
In filing the case, the ACLU accused the Biden administration of following the Trump playbook by denying asylum to people who had traveled through a third country to reach the border without seeking refuge there.
“Despite the administration’s efforts to distinguish their proposal from Trump’s, they share a common core, which is to punish people for not seeking asylum in the countries they must travel through to reach the United States, such as Mexico and Guatemala,” he said.
“This ignores the obvious reason why so many do not seek asylum there: these countries offer no real sanctuary for migrants fleeing persecution.”
He welcomed the ruling.
“The administration now faces a choice: Comply with the law or try to block the ruling from taking effect in 14 days, leaving people seeking safety in grave danger,” the group tweeted.
In his 35-page ruling, Tigar said US law specifically states that crossing the border illegally should not be a bar to obtaining asylum.
A group of about 60 Venezuelan migrants turn themselves in to Border Patrol after crossing the Rio Grande in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on July 20.
The ACLU asked the Biden administration to follow the law after the ruling
And it only allowed migrants to be turned away if they had traveled through a country that “presents a safe option.”
“The rule, which has been in place for two months, cannot remain in place,” he concluded.
Tigar was nominated for the position by President Barack Obama and was responsible for repeatedly blocking similar restrictions imposed by the Trump administration.
The Biden administration has struggled to control the crossings.
However, the most recent data from the US Customs and Border Protection suggests that the new measures were working. Border agents encountered about 144,000 people trying to cross in June, down 30 percent from May.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice has initiated legal action against Texas to remove the barriers installed in the Rio Grande.
Under Operation Lone Star, Texas deployed thousands of National Guard troops to the border and installed a floating barrier on the Rio Grande.
An administration official accused Gov. Greg Abbott of playing dangerous “political games” with the lives of people trying to get to safety.
Abbott appeared to enjoy the action, saying in a statement just before the Justice Department made its move: “Texas will see you in court, Mr. President.”
He had large plastic buoys installed in the river earlier this month near the town of Eagle Pass, amid a series of measures designed to deter people from crossing.
The Biden administration says it had no right to take such action.