Federal Judge Blocks Trump Rules On Migrants Seeking Asylum

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A judge has temporarily blocked an order by President Trump that barred asylum for immigrants who enter the country illegally from Mexico.

Under US law, there is a legal obligation to hear asylum claims from migrants if they say they fear violence in their home countries - regardless of how they have entered the country.

Mr Trump cited an overwhelmed immigration system for his recent proclamation that officials would only process asylum claims for migrants who present themselves at an official entry point. His Monday order, which took effect immediately, applies nationwide and lasts until December 19, when the judge scheduled a hearing to consider a more long-lasting injunction.

Central American migrants taking part in a caravan to the USA, get on board a container truck heading to Irapuato in the state of Guanajuato on November 11, 2018 after spending the night in Queretaro in central Mexico.

"Whatever the scope of the president's authority may be, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden", Tigar said.

In the run-up to the United States mid-term elections, President Trump said numerous migrants were criminals, called the caravan an invasion, and ordered troops to the border. US Customs and Border Protection said on Monday it closed off northbound traffic for several hours at the San Ysidro crossing.

Administration officials said the asylum law changes were meant to funnel migrants through official border crossings for speedy rulings instead of having them try to evade such crossings on the almost 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) border.

DHS wants asylum seekers at the southern border to appear at an official crossing. Officials didn't say whether those people's cases were still progressing through other, more hard avenues left to them after the proclamation. Riley, Kansas, 97th MP Battalion install protective wire along the Rio Grande at the U.S. -Mexico border on November 2, 2018 in Hidalgo, Texas.

Immigrant rights groups, who argue the administration is creating a crisis at the border to score political points, praised the judge's ruling.

"Failure to comply with entry requirements such as arriving at a designated port of entry should bear little, if any, weight in the asylum process", the Obama-appointed judge continued.

Without providing specific potential moves, he told reporters on the South Lawn that the country must "look at" the 9th Circuit because other countries take cases against the USA there for an "automatic win".

What is the situation on the US-Mexico border?

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