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Trump rule to limit access to asylum seekers blocked by judge

President Trump's continuing effort to use administrative declarations to raise the barriers to lawful admission into the United States hit another roadblock in San Francisco on November 18. A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order that prevented enforcement of the president's declaration that persons seeking asylum could not enter the United States except through lawful ports of entry.

The dispute began on November 9 when President Trump signed a proclamation that banned migrants from applying for asylum if they failed to make the request at a legal checkpoint. The president said that national security required the limitation, but he did so without presenting any supporting evidence. The rule was allowed to become effective even though it had not been published in the Federal Register or been subjected to public review and comment.

Immigrant advocacy groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union immediately brought lawsuits challenging the legal efficacy of the proclamation. The matter was heard by United States District Judge Jon S. Tigar whose chambers are in San Francisco. Judge Tigar said that the president did not have the legal authority that he claimed he had. In his order, Tiger stated that the president's scope of authority did not permit him to alter immigration laws in ways that were expressly forbidden by Congress. Whether the judge's decision will be appealed by the Trump Administration has not been made clear.

This case represents another example of President Trump attempting to restrict immigrant rights by executive fiat and another example of a federal judge who found that the president has exceeded his lawful powers. This case stands as another beacon of resistance to the administration's attempts to evade immigration and constitutional rules that it finds distasteful.

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