A federal judge in California on Monday reinstated a ban on the implementation of a Trump administration policy that would restrict migrants’ ability to apply for asylum at the southern border.
U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar had issued a nationwide injunction in July blocking the rule, which would make most asylum-seekers who pass through another country before reaching the U.S. ineligible for asylum, with exceptions for victims of trafficking and migrants who have been denied asylum in the countries they traveled through.
The rule would primarily effect Central American migrants crossing through Mexico.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Tigar’s initial ruling but narrowed the injunction to only border states within its jurisdiction — California and Arizona — before sending the question back to Tigar.
Tigar said Monday that the injunction should apply nationwide because the asylum rule represents a case where “such breadth is necessary to remedy a plaintiff’s harm.”
The Trump administration last month asked the Supreme Court to lift Tigar’s injunction.
“The injunction now in effect is deeply flawed and should be stayed pending appeal and pending any further proceedings in this Court,” Solicitor General Noel Francisco said in a filing.
The White House blasted the judge’s decision in a statement.
“Immigration and border security policy cannot be run by any single district court judge who decides to issue a nationwide injunction,” the White House said. “This ruling is a gift to human smugglers and traffickers and undermines the rule of law. We previously asked the Supreme Court to set aside the district court’s injunction in its entirety, our request remains pending with the Court, and we look forward to it acting on our request.”
Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan said Monday that he was “frustrated” by the ruling and described it as a result of “unprecedented judicial activism.”
“It’s very very frustrating but we’re going to keep going. We’ll continue to work within the current legal framework address this,” Morgan told reporters at the White House.