Judge Refuses to Lift Ban on Trump Administration Asylum Policy

(CN) – A federal judge refused Friday to let the Trump administration grant political asylum “only to those who cross the southern border under conditions set by the president.”

The Department of Justice asked U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar to suspend his Nov. 19 ruling that blocked the new rules for applying for asylum. In the Friday ruling, Tigar said that the government continued to fail to prove that the new policy is lawful.

“Nor have defendants rebutted the significant harms that will be suffered by asylum seekers with legitimate claims and the organizations that assist them,” Tigar wrote in his 9-page ruling.

Tigar’s original order stems from a lawsuit by migrant rights groups who opposed President Donald Trump’s Nov. 9 proclamation stating that the U.S. government would no longer allow those who enter through the U.S.-Mexico border illegally to apply for asylum.

The judge ruled that immigrants are allowed to request asylum even if they entered the country illegally.

“Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” Tigar wrote in the Nov. 19 order.

After Tigar issued his Nov. 19 injunction, President Trump criticized the courts and called the Ninth Circuit a “disgrace” and said the court had “Obama judges.”

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts pushed back on Trump’s comments in a rare rebuke of the president.

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in a written statement. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”

Tigar was nominated by former President Barack Obama in 2012 to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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