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California judge reinstates nationwide halt on Trump asylum policy plan

Posted at 11:37 AM, Sep 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-09 14:37:35-04

A U.S. judge in California on Monday reinstated a nationwide halt on the Trump administration’s plan to prevent most migrants from seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar ruled in Oakland that an injunction blocking the administration’s policy from taking effect should apply nationwide.

Tigar blocked the policy in July after a lawsuit by groups that help asylum seekers. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals limited the impact of Tigar’s injunction to states within the area overseen by the appeals court.

That meant the policy was blocked in the border states of California and Arizona but not in New Mexico or Texas.

In his ruling, Tigar stressed a “need to maintain uniform immigration policy” and found that nonprofit organizations such as Al Otro Lado don’t know where asylum seekers who enter the U.S. will end up living and making their case to remain in the country.

“The court recognized there is grave danger facing asylum-seekers along the entire stretch of the southern border,” Lee Gelernt, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.

A message was left seeking comment with the Department of Justice.

The new rules by the Trump administration apply to migrants who pass through another country before reaching the U.S.

The policy targets tens of thousands of Central Americans who cross Mexico every month to try to enter the U.S. and also would affect asylum-seekers from Africa, Asia and South America who arrive regularly at the southern border.