UPDATED 1:45 PM PT — Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Another federal judge has ruled against another immigration policy from the Trump administration. On Tuesday, Seattle-based Judge Marsha Pechman blocked a new rule by Attorney General William Barr aimed at detaining some so-called asylum seekers for the duration of their cases.
The Clinton appointee said the Justice Department’s rule was unconstitutional and violated migrants’ purported right to due process under the Fifth Amendment. She also cited a Supreme Court ruling on unnecessary incarceration. The judge has ordered that asylum seekers be released from U.S. custody within seven-days after their initial hearing.
Back in April, Attorney General Barr reversed a 2005 decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals. He declared that migrants who present a credible fear of return to country of origin were not eligible for bond, and should remain in U.S. custody until their cases are heard and decided. Barr invoked a statue from the Immigration and Nationality Act to support his decision. The move was a part of an immigration crackdown by the White House aimed at stemming the flow of illegal immigration at the southern border.
The White House has since spoke out on latest attempt at blocking the administration’s immigration policy reform. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said the judge’s decision to block the long-term detention of some asylum seekers was “at war with the rule of law.” She said the move by the judge would only encourage smugglers and traffickers to keep overwhelming the U.S. immigration system.