The Trump administration cleared a major hurdle in their attempts to set tighter restrictions on asylum seekers this week. The new rule requires that any migrants passing through central America must first seek asylum in one of the nations they pass through on their way to the U.S. before applying for asylum here.
A month ago, a U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar blocked the rule, but the judge’s injunction was overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In a statement released Friday, the appeals court claimed that Tigar “erred by failing to consider whether nationwide relief is necessary to remedy Plaintiffs’ alleged harms.”
“Based on the limited record before us, we do not believe a nationwide injunction is justified,” the court continued.
As a result of the stay will only be valid within the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction, meaning that the asylum restrictions will be valid in both Texas and New Mexico. Since both Arizona and California are within the 9th circuit, the injunction will stand in those two states “pending appeal.”
How long this law stands in the states outside of the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction is still a matter of debate. The panel who limited Tigar’s injunction also claimed that the asylum ban may have violated federal regulatory law due to the speed with which it was implemented.
The motion was passed by split decision, with Republican-appointed Judges Milan Smith and Mark Bennett voting to limit the scope of the injunction. Judge Wallace Tashima, a Clinton Appointee partially dissented, questioning why an asylum law would be administered differently in different parts of the country.
“Should asylum law be administered differently in Texas than in California?” he wrote. “These issues and problems illustrate why tinkering with the merits on a limited stay motion record can be risky.”
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