In early April, a federal judge made a ruling that blocked a requirement set by the Trump administration that would force asylum-seekers who crossed the border to wait in Mexico until their case can be heard in a U.S. court. However, before the judge will implement the ruling, the government will be given time to file an appeal.
In a 27-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg said current U.S. law does not authorize the Department of Homeland Security to enact the Migrant Protection Protocols set forth in a 2018 memo written by outgoing Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. According to Seeborg, the Migrant Protection Protocol failed to provide sufficient safeguards that would ensure asylum applicants are not returned "to places where they face undue risk to their lives or freedom."
The ruling was the result of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups on behalf of 11 asylum-seekers from Central America. The lawsuit argued that forcing migrants to stay in Mexico was a violation of humanitarian protections under U.S. and international law.
Speaking about the judge’s ruling, Judy Rabinovitz, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project said:
"The court strongly rejected the Trump administration's unprecedented and illegal policy of forcing asylum seekers to return to Mexico without hearing their claims. Try as it may, the Trump administration cannot simply ignore our laws in order to accomplish its goal of preventing people from seeking asylum in the United States."
This latest ruling marks another major setback for the Trump administration and its attempts to enforce hardline immigration policies.
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