- A judge has blocked a new rule limiting asylum claims at the US-Mexico border.
- The rule says asylum seekers can be turned back if they didn’t apply ahead of time.
- The Biden administration can appeal.
A judge has blocked a rule limiting asylum at the US-Mexico border but he has allowed the Biden administration time to appeal before his ruling takes effect.
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Judge blocks rule limiting asylum claims at the US-Mexico border
On Tuesday, a federal judge blocked a rule that allowed immigration authorities to deny asylum to migrants who arrive at the US-Mexico border without first filing an online application or seeking protection in a country through which they passed.
However, the judge is giving the Biden administration time to appeal before his ruling goes into effect. The order, issued by US District Judge Jon Tigar of the Northern District of California, removes a key enforcement tool established by the Biden administration when COVID-based asylum restrictions expired in May.
Title 42 continues to cause controversy
The US used a rule known as Title 42 to remove millions of people from the country, starting in early 2020, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This rule severely limited immigrants seeking asylum.
However, it did include exceptions and did not apply to children traveling alone. US District Judge Jon Tigar’s order, which won’t take effect for another two weeks, comes as a result of a lawsuit filed by immigrant rights groups. They argued that the policy was a violation of US law, which protects the right to asylum regardless of how a person enters the country.
Migrants seek protection
According to The Associated Press, the immigrant rights groups argued that the asylum rule forced migrants to seek protection in countries without robust asylum systems and human rights protections, putting them in dangerous situations. They also pointed out that the CBP One app, which the government wants immigrants to use, lacks sufficient information and is not available in multiple languages.
On the other hand, the Biden administration stated that the asylum rule was an essential component of its strategy to balance strict border enforcement with providing multiple pathways for migrants to submit valid asylum claims. The rule was implemented in response to the political and economic instability that led to an exodus of migrants from countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela.
Is it the same as Trump’s rule?
The new rule implemented by the Biden administration has drawn criticism from groups like the ACLU, who argue that it resembles the policies of the Trump era. Despite Biden’s campaign promise to restore the asylum system, they believe that the current restrictions are a duplication of the harsh measures used by his predecessor.
Katrina Eiland, a lawyer for the ACLU Immigrant Rights Project, stated in a press release: «We have seen this before with Trump. The asylum bans were cruel and illegal then, and nothing has changed now,» according to EFE.