The Supreme Court is considering an emergency appeal from the Justice Department that would allow them to enforce, for now, the Trump administration’s ban on asylum for anyone trying to cross the southern border by transiting through a third country.
The Justice Department on Tuesday filed a supplemental brief with the justices, criticizing a federal judge’s Monday order reimposing a nationwide injunction that effectively blocks enforcement of the policy across the four states along the U-S Mexico border. That injunction would remain in place while the case is being litigated in the courts.
The government’s new brief warned the court that unless the nationwide injunction is lifted, it “would severely disrupt the orderly administration of an already overburdened asylum system.”
That federal district court order follows a federal appeals court decision last month narrowing the scope of that injunction to just California. The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups then went back to the district court seeking to have the nationwide injunction reimposed, which the district court in California did on Monday, defying the appeals court.
“While nationwide injunctions are not the ‘general rule,’ they are appropriate ‘where such breadth [is] necessary to remedy a plaintiff’s harm,’” U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar wrote. “This is such a case. Accordingly, and for the reasons set forth above, the Court grants the [immigrant rights] Organizations’ motion to restore the nationwide scope of the injunction.”
The Trump administration in July announced the sweeping new policy tightening restrictions for asylum seekers. The new rule requires most migrants entering through America’s southern border to first seek asylum in one of the countries they traversed – whether in Mexico, in Central America, or elsewhere on their journey. In most cases, only if that application is denied would they then be able to seek asylum in the United States.
Monday's ruling is another defeat for the administration on its asylum policies, and a win for immigrant rights groups.
The ACLU’s Lee Gelernt celebrated the order Monday, saying, “The court recognized there is grave danger facing asylum-seekers along the entire stretch of the southern border.”
The White House ripped the ruling.
"Immigration and border security policy cannot be run by any single district court judge who decides to issue a nationwide injunction," press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.