Federal judge deals blow to Biden immigration policy, left-wing groups cheer ruling

A federal judge blocked a key component of the Biden administration’s new immigration policy placing restrictions on those seeking asylum, a serious blow to efforts to control the flood of migrants across the border since the end of Title 42.

On Tuesday, Jon S. Tigar of the U.S. District Court in Northern California blocked the May regulation requiring border crossers to first seek asylum in a country that they have previously passed through, a rule that is similar to a Trump-era policy that was also blocked, finding that it is “both substantively and procedurally invalid.”

“The court concludes that the rule is contrary to law because it presumes ineligible for asylum noncitizens who enter between ports of entry, using a manner of entry that Congress expressly intended should not affect access to asylum,” the judge wrote in the ruling.

Judge Tigar delayed the ruling for 14 days to allow the administration time to appeal the ending of a policy that it has credited for a decrease in border crossings.

“The Justice Department disagrees with the district court’s ruling today in the East Bay case and intends to appeal the decision and to seek a stay pending appeal. We remain confident in our position that the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule is a lawful exercise of the broad authority granted by the immigration laws,” a DOJ spokesperson said in a statement.

The Obama appointee’s blocking of the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule, which is also known as the transit ban, is a big win for left-wing pro-amnesty activist organizations who cheered the decision, led by The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which was among the groups fighting against its implementation.

“The ruling is a victory, but each day the Biden administration prolongs the fight over its illegal ban, many people fleeing persecution and seeking safe harbor for their families are instead left in grave danger,” ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project deputy director Katrina Eiland said in a statement. “The promise of America is to serve as a beacon of freedom and hope, and the administration can and should do better to fulfill this promise, rather than perpetuate cruel and ineffective policies that betray it.”

“The court’s ruling is welcome and expected, since the new policy simply rehashed prior rules that restricted access to asylum based on similar grounds, which courts already rejected. U.S. laws protect the rights of people fleeing persecution to come to this country and pursue asylum, full stop,” said National Immigrant Justice Center director of litigation Keren Zwic in a statement. “We encourage the Biden administration to now direct its resources to upholding that right, rather than fighting to continue this unlawful and inhumane asylum ban.”

“We strongly disagree with today’s ruling and are confident that the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule is lawful,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “The Department of Justice has said it will quickly appeal this decision and seek a stay pending appeal.”

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Chris Donaldson


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