A federal judge blocked the Trump administration from implementing a new policy requiring asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases are reviewed by immigration officials.
Judge Richard Seeborg of the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction against the policy, The Washington Post reported. The Department of Homeland Security began the policy of forcing asylum seekers to stay in Mexico in January at the San Ysidro port of entry in California and has since been extended to the ports of entry in Calexico, California and El Paso, Texas.
Several hundred migrants have been returned to Mexico since the policy began.
Seeborg said in a 27-page ruling that the question was not “whether the MPP is a wise, intelligent, or humane policy, or whether it is the best approach for addressing the circumstances the executive branch contends constitute a crisis” but rather whether the policy violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, and other laws that ensure asylum seekers “are not returned to unduly dangerous circumstances.”
The Justice Department has not said whether it will appeal the ruling.
Lawsuit accused Trump of sending immigrants to dangerous locations:
The lawsuit filed on behalf of 11 asylum seekers accused the Trump administration of violating the law by failing to consider the dangers that migrants could face in Mexico.
“It also accuses Homeland Security and immigration officials of depriving migrants of their right to apply for asylum by making it difficult or impossible for them to do so,” Fox News reported. Under the new policy, asylum seekers are not guaranteed interpreters or lawyers and don't get to argue to a judge that they face the potential of persecution or torture if they are sent back to Mexico, Judy Rabinovitz, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said at a March court hearing.”
Trump complains 9th Circuit ‘out of control’:
President Trump took to Twitter to complain about the decision Monday.
“A 9th Circuit Judge just ruled that Mexico is too dangerous for migrants,” he wrote. “So unfair to the U.S. OUT OF CONTROL!”
The ACLU, which was among the groups which brought the lawsuit, hailed the decision as a “very important decision” against the administration’s “unprecedented” move.
“What it will mean is that nobody else can be sent to Mexico,” Judy Rabinovitz, the deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, told The Post. “They can’t enforce this policy.”