A United States District judge put a temporary stop to the Trump administration’s decision to refuse asylum to immigrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border. The restraining order was granted on Monday (November 19), The Washington Post reports.
The American Civil Liberties Union and other legal groups filed a suit after the president issued a proclamation on November 9 stating that anyone who crosses the southern border outside of a designated legal port of entry would be ineligible for asylum. The mandate was created in response to the thousands of Central-American migrants making their way to the border, a group Trump referred to as an "assault on our country" leading up to the midterm elections.
Federal judge Jon Tigar responded to the suit by saying, "legislation was clear that any foreigner arriving in the U.S., whether or not at a designated port of arrival, could apply for asylum," The Guardian reports. The judge added: "Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden."
The Department of Homeland Security has yet to comment on the ruling, but it reportedly "estimates that 70,000 people a year claim asylum between official ports of entry." The judge’s ruling will remain in effect for one month barring an appeal.