SF Examiner file photoThe suit alleges that an officer used excessive force following an arrest.

Judge issues stay on partial asylum ban

A federal judge issued a stay to the Trump Administration’s partial asylum ban on Monday night, according to U.S. District Court officials.

The ruling was delivered by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar and American Civil Liberties Union officials called it an initial victory in a lawsuit being filed by four groups, led by the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant.

The temporary restraining order will be in effect until Tigar holds another hearing on whether to issued a preliminary injunction.

The ban was issued by the Trump Administration in response to a caravan of Central American immigrants approaching the southern border of the United States and intending to claim for asylum when arriving at the southern border. The ban mandates that immigrants either in the U.S. or outside of it applying for asylum must do so at a designated entry point.

Trump’s proclamation cited the caravan of Central American migrants now approaching the Mexican border and said the measure was needed to prevent “overloading of our immigration and asylum system.”

“This ban is illegal, will put people’s lives in danger, and raises the alarm about President Trump’s disregard for separation of powers,” ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said in a statement. “There is no justifiable reason to flatly deny people the right to apply for asylum, and we cannot send them back to danger based on the manner of their entry. Congress has been clear on this point for decades.”

The asylum restriction stems from a combination of a rule issued by the Trump Administration on Nov. 8 and the president’s proclamation the next day. The rule, issued on an emergency basis, authorized the president to issue a proclamation denying asylum eligibility to people who cross the border with Mexico illegally. The president then did so.

The government contends the immediate rule was allowed under a foreign affairs exception because the administration is negotiating with Mexico about a possible “safe third country” agreement in which immigrants would be required to apply for asylum in Mexico first.

Known as East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump, the lawsuit also accuses the Trump Administration with violating the Immigration and Nationality Act – which mandates that anyone attempting to claim asylum in
the U.S. can do so at any port of entry – as well as the Administrative Procedure Act by not allowing a 30-day public comment period.

The other defendants of the case are Al Otro Lado, Innovation Law Lab and the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles.

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