Federal Judge Blocks Biden Asylum Policy

Venezuelan and Nicaraguan migrants are transferred by agents of the Border Patrol after crossing the Rio Grande river from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico to El Paso, Texas, US to ask for political asylum on December 27, 2022. - The US government's two-year-old policy of invoking Covid-19 precautions to turn away hundreds of thousands of migrants at the Mexican border will remain in place for now, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The decision to uphold the controversial rule known as Title 42 stemmed off a looming political crisis for President Joe Biden, as thousands waited at the southern border in expectation the policy was about to end. (Photo by Herika Martinez / AFP) (Photo by HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Roy Francis
1:53 PM – Tuesday, July 25, 2023

A federal judge has blocked the Biden administration’s policy for asylum seekers that went into effect after Title 42 was lifted.


United States District Judge Jon Tigar who resides in Oakland California, ruled that the policy is unlawful due to the conditions that have been imposed on asylum seekers.

Under the new rule, which went into effect in May, migrants would have difficulty receiving asylum if they cross the border illegally if they had already passed through any other country south of the border without seeking protection there first. The policy, had imposed limitations on migrants seeking asylum, but offer plenty of exceptions and do not apply to children that are traveling alone.

The immigrant rights group, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), sued the administration arguing that it is a violation of U.S. law, which protects the right to asylum no matter how the migrants enter the country. The rights groups said that the Biden administration rules force migrants to look for protection in countries that don’t have the same asylum system and human rights protections that the United States has.

The ACLU also argued that the CBP One app, that the administration has been utilizing at the border in order to process migrants faster and to book appointments over the internet, is not feasible. They said that the app does not have enough appointment slots, and that it is not available in enough languages.

The judge agreed and said that it is not feasible for migrants to seek protection in a transit country and that migrants face violence as they travel, particularly in Mexico.

“The Rule — which has been in effect for two months — cannot remain in place,” Tigar wrote in his order. “While they wait for an adjudication, applicants for asylum must remain in Mexico, where migrants are generally at heightened risk of violence by both state and non-state actors.”

Tigar also said that the rule is illegal because it brands those who cross at any place in between legal border crossings ineligible for asylum. He explained that Congress has specifically said that the crossing point should not affect whether someone is eligible for asylum.

The judge had blocked a similar policy during the Trump administration. Immigrant advocates had been pushing him to also block the current policy.

Last week, a Justice Department lawyer argued that the current policy is different from the Trump-era policy because it is paired with new pathways for migrants who are seeking protection, including, and primarily, the CBP One app.

The Biden policies have also been challenged by Republican led states, although Republicans argued the opposite point of judge Tigar, saying that immigration authorities have been releasing too many migrants into the country.

The ACLU applauded the decision by Tigar. Katrina Eiland, the deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, who had argued the case, said that the decision is a victory because the promise of America is “to serve as a beacon of freedom and hope.”

“The ruling is a victory, but each day the Biden administration prolongs the fight over its illegal ban, many people fleeing persecution and seeking safe harbor for their families are instead left in grave danger,” Eiland said. “The promise of America is to serve as a beacon of freedom and hope, and the administration can and should do better to fulfill this promise, rather than perpetuate cruel and ineffective policies that betray it.”

The block on the policy will go into effect in two weeks, giving the Biden administration time to file an appeal.

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