On Monday, a US federal judge blocked President Donald Trump’s policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico to wait out the processing of their cases, saying the Department of Homeland Security had overstepped its authority.
The US District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco ordered a rebuke for the Trump administration’s effort to block the migrants seeking asylum through the US border with Mexico.
Days after outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had sworn to expand the controversial program, the decision appears which is going to be implemented on Friday.
Several hundred people came back to Mexico who were seeking asylum to await the outcome of their request under the policy first implemented in January at the San Ysidro port of entry in California and later extended to Calexico, a second California border point, and El Paso, Texas.
Judy Rabinovitz, the deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project said, “The court strongly rejected the Trump administration’s unprecedented and illegal policy of forcing asylum seekers to return to Mexico without hearing their claims.”
“Try as it may, the Trump administration cannot simply ignore our laws in order to accomplish its goal of preventing people from seeking asylum in the United States,” it added.
“Indeed, in essence, plaintiffs are arguing that because they are subject to expedited removal, they should at a minimum have the protections they would enjoy under that regime, either by being exempt from contiguous territorial return, and/or by having additional procedural and substantive protections against being sent to places in which they would not be safe from persecution,” the judge wrote.
The Department of Homeland Security or Trump did not give any immediate reaction. Migrants who arrived in the US have a legal right to seek asylum and are usually held in custody facilities while their application is processed in the US.
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