A D.C.-based federal judge today ruled that a Trump administration ban on asylum seekers who pass through another country en route to the southwest border can go forward on a temporary basis, as reported by Politico. U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly denied a motion filed by immigrant legal service providers to block the policy's implementation.
In a ruling issued from the bench, Kelly said the plaintiffs had not proved they would suffer "irreparable harm" as a result of the asylum ban. While Kelly acknowledged the policy could have "far-reaching and significant effects," he found that plaintiffs failed to demonstrate sufficient harms to halt the regulation. The decision provides a short-term win for President Donald Trump, who has sought to diminish the flow of Central American migrants arriving at the border by toughening the asylum process. The administration issued a fast-track regulation last week that bars asylum for migrants who pass through other nations and do not seek refuge in those places.
Kelly, a Trump appointee, specifically cited the plaintiffs' inability to show how many clients would be affected by the change and said the possible harm did not appear to go beyond a "temporary burden."
A hearing in a separate lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union is scheduled to take place before a federal judge in San Francisco at 12:30 p.m. ET. The ACLU case will be heard by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar, an Obama appointee who previously blocked a November policy that banned migrants who enter the U.S. between ports of entry from seeking asylum, setting up what will certainly be a political battle in the courts.
Updated: Wed, Aug 7th 2019 @ 2:10pm EDT