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Federal judge blocks policy returning asylum-seekers to Mexico

Many people in California have been following developments regarding the Trump Administration's policy plans to require asylum-seekers from Central America to wait in Mexico for their cases to be processed inside the United States. A federal judge acted on April 8 to block implementation of the order, saying that the Department of Homeland Security was exceeding its authority under immigration law. The judge ordered the plaintiffs who had brought the case, including migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, to enter the United States in the coming two days.

In addition, the judge also issued a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the policy to force asylum-seekers to return to Mexico across the country. This order will go into effect on April 12. The judge said that the policy violated domestic U.S. law as well as the United Nations Convention on Refugees, which has been adopted by the United States and thereby carries the same force as domestic law. He noted that asylum-seekers in particular are fleeing persecution or danger in their countries of origin and that returning them to Mexico placed them at risk of a serious threat to their freedom and their lives.

Trump responded to the ruling by issuing a critical statement on Twitter, but it is the third time that his administration has been blocked in the courts from implementing plans aimed at reducing the number of asylum-seekers entering the country. One immigration lawyer noted that the administration cannot ignore existing law when issuing policies for the treatment of migrants.

Administration policies have raised concerns among a number of immigrants in the United States, even those with permanent residency or who have already been granted asylum. An individual who is concerned with how they can protect their immigration status and prevent deportation can work with an immigration law attorney to help defend their rights.

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