A federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to resume accepting asylum claims from migrants no matter where or how they entered the United States, dealing at least a temporary setback to the president’s attempt to clamp down on a huge wave of Central Americans crossing the border. Judge Jon S. Tigar of the United States District Court in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order that blocks the government from carrying out a new rule that denies protections to people who enter the country illegally. The order, which suspends the rule until the case is decided by the court, applies nationally.
As a caravan of several thousand people journeyed toward the Southwest border, President Trump signed a proclamation on Nov. 9 that banned migrants from applying for asylum if they failed to make the request at a legal checkpoint. Only those who entered the country through a port of entry would be eligible, he said, invoking national security powers to protect the integrity of the United States borders.
After the judge’s ruling on Nov. 19, Lee Gelernt, the A.C.L.U. attorney who argued the case, said, “The court made clear that the administration does not have the power to override Congress and that, absent judicial intervention, real harm will occur.” The ruling is a significant blow to the administration’s efforts to unilaterally change asylum law.
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