A federal judge told President Trump “he may not rewrite the immigration laws” in an effort to deny asylum to any refugee who enters the U.S. along the southern border without going through a designated port of entry.
U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar issued a restraining order Monday barring border agents from denying asylum to migrants simply because they cross the border at an illegal spot.
The Immigration and Naturalization Act, passed in 1979, holds that any alien who arrives in the U.S., irrespective of their status, may apply for asylum, “whether or not at a designated port of arrival,” Tigar wrote.
Notwithstanding this clear comment, the President has issued a proclamation, that allow asylum to be granted only to those who cross at a designated port of entry and deny asylum to those who enter at any other location on the southern border.
“The rule barring asylum for immigrants who enter the country outside a port of entry irreconcilably conflicts with the INA and the expressed intent of Congress,” Tigar said.
“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 concluded.
Tigar’s temporary restraining order remains in effect until December 19, at which point he will hold further hearings.
Case: 18-ccv-6810, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump