A federal appeals court sided (ruled) with the Trump administration on Friday in the legal battle over its efforts to limit asylum claims from Central America – blocking, for now, a nationwide injunction that blocked the implementation of the rule.
Last month a California federal judge blocked the rule that would require migrants to first apply in one of the countries they cross on their way to the U.S. – with certain exceptions. The rule is tailored to target Central Americans from the Northern Triangle of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras who would travel across multiple countries, including Mexico, before claiming asylum in the U.S.
But the San Francisco federal appeals court for the 9th Circuit on Friday ruled that the injunction imposed by the California federal judge can only apply in states within the court’s jurisdiction in the western U.S. The ruling says that the court failed to discuss why a nationwide injunction was necessary to remedy the harm alleged by those immigration advocacy groups named in the lawsuit.
“The district court clearly erred by failing to consider whether nationwide relief is necessary to remedy Plaintiffs’ alleged harms,” the ruling says. “And, based on the limited record before us, we do not believe a nationwide injunction is justified.”
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The Department of Justice announced a new immigration rule Monday that will restrict illegal immigrants from countries, other than those bordering the United States, for applying for asylum first in the U.S. if they have attempted “to enter the United States across the southern border after failing to apply for protection in a third country.” For example, the rule would not allegedly apply to Mexicans, whose first safe country is America.
Attorney General William Barr authorized the change in the rules under the Department of Homeland Security, as an effort to curtail the humanitarian crisis at the border and deter those abusing the current law from the dangerous trek to the United States.
The new rule has very limited exceptions and will go into effect 30 days from Monday. It will not apply to those potential immigrants who’ve already applied for asylum, the rule states.