District of Columbia — Judge Timothy Kelly of the District of Columbia District Court ruled in favor of the Trump Administration on Wednesday regarding a new rule stating that individuals are ineligible to apply for asylum if they passed through a third country prior to arriving in the United States.
The lawsuit was filed by several groups the day after the new rule went into effect, with a similar lawsuit filed by the ACLU being heard on Wednesday in San Francisco. The groups argued that the rule violates the Immigration and Naturalization Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and further stated that individuals have the right to apply once they reach the United States. Justice Department officials argue that the rule change was needed to address the humanitarian crisis along the border and ease the strain on the immigration system.
When reached, Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham provided the following statement, “Today’s ruling in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia is a victory for Americans concerned about the crisis at our southern border. The court properly rejected the attempt of a few special interest groups to block a rule that discourages abuse of our asylum system. The rule properly encourages migrants to seek asylum in other countries they have traveled through before reaching the United States and makes those who fail to do so ineligible for asylum, thereby foreclosing opportunistic claims by those who want to exploit our asylum system in an effort to immigrate unlawfully to the United States. Tens of thousands of migrants making opportunistic asylum claims have not only exacerbated the crisis at our southern border but also have harmed genuine asylum seekers, who are forced to wait years for relief because our system is clogged with meritless claims.”