A California court has ruled to block the enforcement of a Trump administration rule that would deny nearly all applications for asylum at the nation's southern border. The judge issued an injunction against the rule, which requires that asylum seekers look for safe haven in another country before applying for asylum in the U.S. The rule is thereby suspended until further proceedings have been conducted. According to an attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, the decision is a victory for vulnerable families and individuals.
The rule that was blocked was part of the Trump administration effort to slow the number of Central Americans attempting to cross into the U.S. at the border with Mexico. Many of these asylum seekers are fleeing from poverty and violence in countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The rule was announced on July 15, 2019, and it was met with immediate challenges from civil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union.
In a hearing that lasted an hour, the California judge said he was impressed by the dangers that migrants faced when traveling through Mexico. That level of danger is relevant because the Trump administration rule would require asylum seekers to apply for safe haven in Mexico prior to applying for asylum in the U.S. The judge did not think it made sense to force applications for safe haven in a country that was unsafe.
Immigration policy is likely to be among the most important issues during the 2020 elections, and it is changing rapidly. Individuals in California who have questions about the immigration process or who are pursuing temporary or permanent residency might want to speak with an attorney. An attorney who practices immigration law may be able to help by examining the client's situation and suggesting avenues to secure lawful immigration into the U.S. An attorney might draft and file necessary legal documents or argue on the client's behalf during official hearings.