By Umar Farooq
WASHINGTON (AA) – A federal judge in the state of California blocked an attempt by the Donald Trump administration to refuse asylum to migrants who illegally cross the border into the U.S., saying the president cannot rewrite immigration laws.
Judge Jon Tigar of the District Court in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order late Monday on the administration's policy, which Trump enacted Nov. 9 to bar migrants from crossing outside designated ports of entry.
Tigar argued against it, saying the policy is in conflict with the "expressed intent of Congress.
"Whatever the scope of the President’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden," he wrote.
"Asylum seekers will be put at increased risk of violence and other harms at the border, and many will be deprived of meritorious asylum claims," he added.
The temporary restraining order is in effect until Dec. 19 before the court will oversee the case for a permanent order.
Currently, thousands of migrants wait in Tijuana, Mexico, to cross into the U.S., many from a caravan that drew national attention and prompted Trump to become vocal, saying it was an "invasion" and among the migrants were "criminals and unknown Middle Easterners."
Border security has been tightened as well, with 7,000 military troops having been sent to secure the southern border and harden ports of entry.
The restraining order placed by Tigar will allow migrants to seek asylum regardless of whether they entered the U.S. illegally or came through a port of entry.