U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly of Washington, D.C., upheld on Wednesday asylum restrictions imposed by President Trump and his administration.
The decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by two nonprofit immigrant advocacy groups that considered Trump’s new rules to greatly block aide to refugees fleeing persecution. An attorney for the plaintiffs asserted that the rule “radically rewrites” current U.S. asylum law, but Kelly declined to halt the Trump administration’s move.
Trump’s new rule, enacted earlier this month, specifically bars asylum seekers from Central America who passed through a third country on the way to the U.S.-Mexico border. The new rule further stipulates that migrants from Honduras and El Salvador must be denied asylum in Guatemala and Mexico before being considered for asylum in the United States.
In a public statement on July 16, executive director for Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, Jonathan Ryan, said, “Regardless of where they began their journey, many of the individuals entering our southern border have legitimate claims for asylum in the United States … This Rule creates yet another barrier to the right to seek protection that is guaranteed under both federal and international law.”
An official statement from the White House said of the ruling, “Today’s ruling in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia is a victory for Americans concerned about the crisis at our southern border. The court properly rejected the attempt of a few special interest groups to block a rule that discourages abuse of our asylum system. The rule properly encourages migrants to seek asylum in other countries they have traveled through before reaching the United States and makes those who fail to do so ineligible for asylum, thereby foreclosing opportunistic claims by those who want to exploit our asylum system in an effort to immigrate unlawfully to the United States. Tens of thousands of migrants making opportunistic asylum claims have not only exacerbated the crisis at our southern border but also have harmed genuine asylum seekers, who are forced to wait years for relief because our system is clogged with meritless claims.”
A similar federal suit was filed in San Francisco by the American Civil Liberties Union. Arguments for that case will be heard on Wednesday.
Author: Ellie Bufkin
Source: Washington Examiner: Federal judge upholds Trump asylum restrictions