Immigration rights advocates applauded a federal judge's ruling on Monday that reinstated a nationwide injunction against a Trump administration rule preventing those who passed through another country before reaching the U.S.-Mexico land border from seeking asylum.
The ACLU, in a tweet, called the ruling by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar a "victory."
VICTORY: A federal court just reinstated a full block on the Trump administration’s asylum ban.— ACLU (@ACLU) September 9, 2019
This ban categorically denied asylum to anyone at the southern border who had transited through a third country en route to the United States, with very limited exceptions.
"Before today's decision," explained Charanya Krishnaswami, Amnesty International USA's advocacy director for the Americas, "entire parts of this country had essentially become asylum-free zones, where people in search of safety would be arbitrarily barred from asylum based on where they happened to cross the border."
As Common Dreams reported, the administration's rule, rolled out in July, said asylum-seekers who travel through another country before reaching the U.S.-Mexico border were ineligible for asylum in the United States. The rule was panned human rights advocates as "deliberate cruelty."
Judge Tigar issued a nationwide injunction in July. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in August limited the scope of the "third country" rule to New Mexico and Texas. The new ruling means the the injunction extends across all the states along the southern border.
Praising Monday's ruling, ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said, "The court recognized there is grave danger facing asylum-seekers along the entire stretch of the southern border."
Center for Constitutional Rights legal director Baher Azmy welcomed the news as well.
"We are gratified the court recognized the reality on the ground," he said, "which is that Trump's asylum ban is affecting thousands of asylum-seekers all across the border—just as it was unlawfully intended to do—and not just at California ports of entry."