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District judge blocks US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

November 20, 2018

A federal judge in San Francisco has temporarily blocked President Trump's order barring asylum for immigrants who enter the country illegally. Lawyers had argued that the order was in clear violation of asylum law.

US army at the border with Mexico
Image: picture-alliance/ZUMAPRESS.com/J. Glaser

US District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco issued the temporary restraining order on Monday, granting the request made by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR).

"Individuals are entitled to asylum if they cross between ports of entry," said Baher Azmy, a CCR lawyer. "It couldn't be clearer."

The order prevents the Trump administration from refusing asylum to immigrants who cross the southern border illegally.

A caravan of central American migrants have made their way through Mexico to the border, seeking entry to the United States. Some 3,000 people have arrived in Tijuana, Mexico, right across the border from San Diego, California, prompting security services to close off a highway connection between the two cities and install mobile wire-topped barriers.

Anti-migrant protest in Tijuana

107 detained under Trump ban

President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on November 9 saying that anyone who crossed the southern border would be ineligible for asylum. At least 107 people have been detained for claiming asylum outside of official crossing points since the order came into effect.

The Department of Homeland Security has said it is trying to funnel asylum seekers into official border crossings, but these points are known for having waiting times that can be as long as days or weeks.

Thousands of troops have been deployed to the border. 

es/jm (AFP, Reuters)

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