A federal appeals court on Friday rejected an effort by the Trump administration to block a preliminary injunction against a Nov. 9 order preventing migrants who cross the southern U.S. border at unauthorized locations from seeking asylum.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar, who on Nov. 19 issued a restraining order against Trump’s asylum ban, saying it likely was “inconsistent” with federal immigration law.
Trump had signed the proclamation in part to discourage members of the migrant caravan from making their way into the U.S. and requesting asylum unless they entered at legal ports of entry.
Following the proclamation, the American Civil Liberties Union sued, prompting Judge Tigar’s order. Tigar also scheduled a Dec. 19 hearing to determine whether to extend the injunction against the ban, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“The decision to keep the ban blocked is consistent with the laws made by Congress and will save lives,” the ACLU tweeted in response.
“We are acutely aware of the crisis in the enforcement of our immigration laws,” Judge Jay Bybee, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, wrote in the 2-1 ruling, according to the Chronicle. Bybee added that “revision of the laws is left with the branch that enacted the laws in the first place — Congress.”
The Trump administration can now either appeal the latest ruling to the full 9th Circuit Court or to the U.S. Supreme Court, BuzzFeed reported.
Immigration expert Pratheepan Gulasekaram told BuzzFeed that federal judges are having a hard time buying the Trump administration’s argument that national “emergencies” require drastic measures by the executive branch to essentially sidestep the nation’s system of government.
“At the end of day, what’s happening here is quite simple: The executive is trying to unilaterally undermine the rule of law,” Gulasekaram told the news site. “But federal judges are telling him that there is no emergency situation that requires rethinking the fundamental precept of our system of government — the president can’t simply change laws because he disagrees with them.”
Thank god for the courts.