On Monday, a federal judge has blocked Donald Trump from preventing asylum to migrants illegally entering the United States from Mexico.
On November 9, the US president issued a proclamation, in response to a number of migrants moving towards the border, declaring that anyone who crossed the southern boarder illegally would be ineligible for asylum. Trump has justified the ban, saying that it is for the sake of “national security”.
However, US District Judge in San Francisco Jon Tigar issued a temporary restraining order against the president’s proclamation. Tiger has said: “(…) Any foreigner arriving in the US ‘whether or not at a designated port of arrival’ could apply for asylum”.
Trump’s asylum ban was an “extreme departure from prior practice. (…) Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden”, he added.
Thousands of people from Central America have been migrating north since weeks towards the US-Mexico border. They have stated that they are “fleeing persecution, poverty and violence” in they home countries Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
The temporary halt will remain in effect nationwide until December 19, where the federal judge has scheduled another hearing.
It is indeed a victory for the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Centre and other groups who have strongly claimed that it is illegal to ban a human being based on how they had entered the country.
ACLU’s Lee Gelernt has said: “This ban is illegal, will put people’s lives in danger and raises the alarm about President Trump’s disregard for separation of powers”. He also added: “There is no justifiable reason to flatly deny people the right to apply for asylum, and we cannot send them back to danger based on the manner of their entry”.