November 21, 2018
President Donald Trump deployed more than 5,200 military troops to the southern border before the midterm elections in an attempt to stop a “caravan” of Latin Americans from seeking asylum in the United States. Now, a federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of that policy, saying that the president violated a “clear command” from Congress to allow them to apply, according to a November 20 report by the Washington Post.
In a November 19 ruling against plaintiff(s) Donald J. Trump, et. al., in a case brought by the Berkeley, California-based East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, et. al., Judge Jon S. Tigar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a temporary nationwide restraining order barring enforcement of the policy.
“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 judge wrote in his opinion, noting, “Also, plaintiffs and the immigrants they represent will suffer irreparable injury if the rules going into effect pending resolution of this case. Asylum seekers will be put at increased risk of violence and other harms at the border, and many will be deprived of meritorious asylum claims.”
According to the Post’s report, President Trump and his allies spread fear about the caravan which, “as he asserted without evidence in one pre-election tweet,” included “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners.”
As a result of Judge Tigar’s restraining order, migrants may once again seek asylum either at legal entry points or after crossing illegally onto U.S. soil.
The judge’s order will remain in effect until December 19, at which point the court will consider arguments for a permanent order. The administration offered no immediate comment, the news outlet said,;but has routinely appealed adverse decisions.
More than half of Americans (54%) see the immigrant caravan as some kind of threat, according to a poll this week by USA Today but a majority (70%) say the same immigrants should be able to qualify for asylum in the USA.
Research contact: @isaacstanbecker