Trump Extends Asylum Ban Blocked by Judge in December

WASHINGTON (CN) – Appearing to contravene an order given by a federal judge last year, President Donald Trump issued a 90-day extension Thursday night on his order that denies asylum to people who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

A woman takes a snapshot by the border fence between San Diego, Calif., and Tijuana, as seen from Mexico, on Jan. 3, 2019. Discouraged by the long wait to apply for asylum through official ports of entry, many migrants from recent caravans are choosing to cross the U.S. border wall and hand themselves in to border patrol agents. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

Trump emphasized that he had effected the ban in November because “the unlawful entry of aliens is detrimental to the interests of the United States,” and because the nation’s asylum laws were “in crisis as a consequence of the mass migration of aliens across the border between the United States and Mexico.”

The ban was ultimately blocked by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar, and the U.S. Supreme Court later kept Tigar’s injunction in place with a 5-4 vote.

But Trump wrote Thursday that those court orders have “hampered” the ability of his administration to address “large numbers of aliens” who are headed to the United States with the intention to enter unlawfully.

He claimed that the injunction also prevents the attorney general and the Department of Homeland Security from implementing any final rules.

“The United States is appealing that injunction,” Trump’s proclamation states. “Should the injunction be lifted, aliens who enter the United States unlawfully through the southern border in contravention of this proclamation will be ineligible to be granted asylum under that interim final rule.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, which has routinely pushed back against the administration’s attempts to unwind long-established rules of asylum, issued a statement shortly after the White House announced its plans to extend the failed ban.

“The Trump administration has issued this extension of its draconian asylum ban, but the ban remains illegal and is still blocked by the courts,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

A representative from the White House did not immediately return a request for comment Friday morning.

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