San Francisco — Less than 12 hours after a federal judge in the District of Columbia federal court circuit cleared the Trump Administration to enforce new rules regarding asylum seeking, a separate federal judge in San Francisco has blocked it by issuing a nationwide injunction against the rule. The rule would have barred asylum seekers from applying for asylum if they have passed through a third country prior to arriving to the United States.
In the newest ruling, Judge Jon Tigar issued a nationwide injunction, with a main point of criticism regarding the new rule being “the Organizations have made a strong showing that the rule contains insufficient safeguards to ensure that applicants do not face persecution in those third world countries or be returned to their original countries of persecution.” Additionally, the judge wrote that the “new rule is likely invalid because it is inconsistent with the existing asylum laws.”
The contradictory rulings have turned a winning day at the federal courts into a losing one for the Administration, who just issued a fresh rule on Monday in its continued fight to deal with an overloaded immigration system and humanitarian crisis.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham blasted the ruling in a scathing statement released Thursday morning, “Yesterday evening, a single district judge in California, based on a complaint filed by a few activist groups with no legal standing, issued a nationwide injunction against a lawful and necessary rule that discourages abuse of our asylum system – and did so despite a ruling from another Federal judge earlier in the day rejecting the same request by other plaintiffs and suggesting that the Government was likely to prevail against challenges to the rule. Congress authorized the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to establish categorical limitations on eligibility for asylum, and this rule properly used that authority to encourage migrants to seek asylum in other countries they have traveled through before reaching the United States. The tyranny of a dysfunctional system that permits plaintiffs to forum shop in order to find a single district judge who will purport to dictate immigration policy to the entire Nation – even in the face of a contrary ruling by another Federal court – must come to an end. We intend to pursue all available options to address this meritless ruling and to defend this Nation’s borders.”