Court Temporarily Reinstates Trump Policy of Sending Asylum-Seekers Back to Mexico


President Donald Trump often likes to bash the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but on Friday, that court handed the president a temporary win on one of his policies targeting asylum-seekers at the southern border.

Just days after a federal judge in California issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration policy, called Migration Protection Protocols, the 9th Circuit Court said it would temporarily allow the MPP to continue while the court hears the government’s appeal of last Monday’s ruling by Judge Richard Seeborg.

Seeborg’s order against the MPP, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, was set to take effect on Friday. It responded to a lawsuit brought by immigration advocates including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU’s Immigrants Rights’ Project. The government had asked the 9th Circuit Court to intervene, arguing that the U.S. faced “a humanitarian and security crisis” at the southern border, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters:

The Court of Appeals issued a two-paragraph order saying the lower court injunction was temporarily stayed while the parties prepare to submit arguments next week on the government’s request for a longer stay that would remain in place for the months-long appeals process.

Following Friday’s stay, Southern Poverty Law Center attorney Melissa Crow said, “We are disappointed in today’s ruling and we hope the stay will be short-lived,” BuzzFeed News reported. “We will continue our fight to ensure that vulnerable migrants seeking asylum have access to a fair immigration system.”

Judy Rabinovitz, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants Rights’ Project, called Friday’s ruling “an interim step while the court considers the government’s stay request,” according to BuzzFeed.

Trump tweeted news of the ruling on Friday. “Finally, great news at the Border!” he wrote, along with a now-dead link to the news site Axios.

It was a much different message than what the president had tweeted on Monday, following Judge Seeborg’s ruling:

Trump also claimed, as he has repeatedly tweeted in recent days, that “Our Country is FULL!”

Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which sends asylum-seekers back to Mexico while their cases proceed through the U.S. immigration system, took effect in January at the San Ysidro port of entry. It was extended to other ports of entry at Calexico and El Paso. Since it took effect, more than 1,000 asylum-seekers have been sent back to Mexico to wait for their cases to proceed, which often can take months or years, Reuters reported.

Before resigning last week, Trump’s former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had planned to expand MPP to other border areas.

In his ruling last Monday, Judge Seeborg wrote that the policy violated U.S. immigration laws.

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