9th Circuit Court blocks return of Trump’s asylum policy

President Donald Trump’s effort to reinstate his asylum policy was blocked by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which called it “inconsistent” with existing law.

The San Francisco-based court, which Trump has condemned as a “disgrace,” denied the administration’s attempt to delay a previous ruling that prevented enforcement of its policy that would deny asylum to anyone entering the U.S. illegally, Fox News reported.

migrant caravan border wall
(Image: screenshot)

“We agree with the district court that the Rule is likely inconsistent with existing United States law. Accordingly, we DENY the Government’s motion for a stay,” the 2-1 ruling from a three-judge panel of the court read.

“Just as we may not, as we are often reminded, ‘legislate from the bench,’ neither may the Executive legislate from the Oval Office,” 9th Circuit Judge Jay Bybee, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, wrote in the majority opinion.

In an effort to deal with the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and an impending influx of migrants traveling in a caravan through Mexico, the administration last month moved to prohibit those crossing the southern U.S. border between official ports of entry from seeking asylum.

A request for a temporary restraining order against the policy was granted by Judge Jon Tigar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Nov. 19.

“Whatever the scope of the President’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” Tigar, who was appointed by former President Obama, wrote.

Trump’s slam of Tigar as “an Obama judge” elicited a rebuke from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in a statement. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”

Trump responded by saying that while he respected Roberts, the 9th Circuit court was “totally out of control.”

Tigar’s decision, with a 30-day delay, was appealed by the Trump administration and Friday’s 9th Circuit ruling effectively denied that appeal.

In Friday’s ruling, 9th Circuit Judge Edward Leavy wrote in a dissenting opinion that the administration “adopted legal methods to cope with the current problems rampant at the southern border.”

“The majority errs by treating the grant or denial of eligibility for asylum as equivalent to a bar to application for asylum, and conflating these two separate statutory directives,” Leavy wrote. “An alien does not obtain the right to apply for asylum because he entered illegally. The reason ‘any alien’ has the right to apply, according to the statute, is because he is physically present in the United States or has arrived in the United States.”

Leavy further stated that the administration, in seeking the temporary ban, was acting to “bring safety and fairness to the conditions at the southern border” and the “public has a significant interest in efficient border law administration.”

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