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Judge denies attempt to prohibit border officials from turning away asylum-seekers at the border

2023-10-17T17:35:15+00:00
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Judge prohibits turning away asylum-seekers migrants (Photo: Shutterstock)
  • Judge rules asylum-seekers can be turned away.
  • It’s a blow to immigration activists.
  • Asylum seekers must make an appointment on the CBP One app.

On Friday, October 13, a federal judge denied a legal appeal by immigration advocates.

They were attempting to prohibit US officials from turning away asylum-seekers migrants at border crossings with Mexico if they do not have an appointment on the CBP One app.

The ruling is a victory for the Biden administration and its strategy of creating new ways to enter the US legally.

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At the same time, the Biden administration is seeking to make it more difficult for those who don’t follow the rules to apply for asylum.

More than 263,000 people have scheduled appointments on the CBP One app since it was introduced in January through August.

This includes 45,400 applications that were processed in August, according to the AP.

The majority of people who scheduled appointments were Haitian, Mexican and Venezuelan.

Are people being stranded at the border?

migrants, undocumented, hope, faith, American dream
PHOTO: AP

CBP One has become “the sole mechanism to access the U.S. asylum process at a (port of entry) on the southern border.”

This is according to what lawyers for activist groups Al Otro Lado and Alianza Puente Haitiano, said in a brief before Friday’s hearing in San Diego.

Returning migrants without an appointment violates CBP policy and leaves them «stranded in dangerous Mexican border towns, vulnerable to kidnapping, assault, rape, and murder,» they said.

The Justice Department insisted that there is no policy for returning asylum-seekers.

The plaintiffs are disappointed

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PHOTO: Shutterstock

While those who have appointments get priority, the Border Patrol cannot “return” those who do not have one, the government lawyers wrote.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Schopler, a Biden appointee, said his hands were tied by Supreme Court precedent that limits his authority.

The plaintiffs are disappointed with the decision and are considering appealing, said Melissa Crow, an attorney with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, which represents them.

Katherine Shinners, a Justice Department attorney, told the judge that his reasoning was correct and that the case was «pretty straightforward.»

Similar policies are also being appealed

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PHOTO: Shutterstock

Faced with the influx of asylum seekers from more than 100 countries, the mix of legal avenues and more coercive measures implemented by the government is being challenged.

The government appealed the decision to block a new rule that makes it difficult for those traveling through another country, such as Mexico, to apply for asylum if they enter the US illegally.

This rule remains in effect while it’s under appeal.

Another closely watched case challenges a policy of granting a two-year stay to up 30,000 people a month.

A new visa program?

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PHOTO: Shutterstock

This applies to migrants from Cuba to Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela who apply online with a financial sponsor and arrive at a US airport.

Texas leads 21 states in arguing that Biden overstepped, saying it «amounts to the creation of a new visa program allowing entry into the United States who otherwise have no basis for doing so.»

The challenge to CBP One will continue in San Diego, despite the judge’s refusal to intervene immediately on Friday, according to The Associated Press.

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