Federal judge strikes down Trump asylum ban

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. ruled Friday against the Trump administration’s asylum ban, finding that it violates the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), which oversees the ways federal rules are established. Judge Randolph Moss vacated the government’s policy barring migrants from claiming asylum if they did not enter the country through designated ports of entry.

“Fortunately, the Court need not engage in such logical gymnastics because the language of the APA and the controlling D.C. Circuit precedent are unambiguous,” he wrote. “The Court, accordingly, concludes that the proper remedy is to set the Rule aside, and the legal consequences of that result are not limited ‘to the individual’ plaintiffs.

“As a matter of common usage, no one would draw a meaningful distinction, for example, between a rule providing that children may not apply for a driver’s license and one providing that children are not eligible to receive a driver’s license. Both locutions mean the same thing.”

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This comes after the Trump administration appealed the temporary injunction put in place by in the Northern District of California, in which the judge ruled that the government cannot withhold asylum from migrants who did not apply for asylum in a third country before coming to the U.S.

The rule at issue restricts access to the U.S. asylum system for non-Mexican migrants who traveled through Mexico and other countries to reach the southwestern border, but didn’t seek protection in those nations.

Although its intent is to stem the flow of Central American migrants into the U.S., the Trump rule also affects people from other countries trying to reach the U.S. through Mexico — including Cubans, Venezuelans, Brazilians and central Africans, who have been traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border in higher numbers this year.

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