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Judge blocks Trump administration’s asylum ban for the second time

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar reinstates nationwide injunction against asylum policy.

In this Friday, March 15, 2019, photo, families hoping to seek asylum in the United States wait on the bridge connecting Reynosa, Mexico, to Hidalgo, Texas. Many official points of entry along the border often accept few or no asylum seekers daily, leaving people to wait sometimes for weeks.
Eric Gay, Associated Press

A federal judge on Monday restored his injunction against a Trump administration policy that would effectively bar migrants from claiming asylum in the United States, according to Politico.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar had previously ruled on the asylum policy in July, but after the scope of the injunction was limited by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in August, he restored the ruling Monday.

The Trump administration policy, which was released in early July, would have prevented migrants from requesting asylum if they traveled through another country on their way to the United States without seeking protection in that country.

This would have blocked many Central American migrants from countries such as El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala from being able to seek asylum in the U.S., as many of them travel first through Mexico.

According to Politico, Tigar issued his original injunction on the policy in July after finding it “inconsistent with the existing asylum laws.”

The 9th Circuit Court upheld Tigar’s original decision, The Hill reports, but narrowed the scope of the ruling to apply only to the border states that were within its jurisdiction (Arizona and California). The court then returned the question to Tigar.

Tigar’s ruling on Monday would restore the injunction so that it is once again effective nationwide.

“The primary reason a nationwide injunction is appropriate is that it is the only means of affording complete relief,” Tigar said, according to CNN.

The ruling has met with mixed reactions.

The ACLU, which was a plaintiff in the case, hailed the ruling as a “victory.”

An attorney for the ACLU, Lee Gelernt, said, “The court recognized there is grave danger facing asylum-seekers along the entire stretch of the southern border.”

Meanwhile, Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, told reporters at the White House on Monday, “It’s very, very frustrating,” Politico reported.

Morgan explained, “Every single time that this administration comes up with what we believe is a legal rule or policy that we really believe that will address this crisis, we end up getting enjoined.”

He blamed Monday’s ruling on “unprecedented judicial activism,” but claimed, “we’re just going to keep going.”

The Trump administration has already asked the Supreme Court to put a hold on the entire injunction, according to The Wall Street Journal.