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Federal judge enjoins Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' policy

One of President Trump's most notable comments on immigration is his statement that the "United States is full." The underlying purpose of the President's comment was his intent to stop immigrants from entering and remaining in the United States while they await action on their applications for political asylum. Now a federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that the president's intent violates both the Constitution and the statute that governs asylum procedures.

Federal Richard Seeborg ruled that the "Remain in Mexico" policy violates the asylum statute and fails to comply with United States policy of not returning immigrants to their home countries while they await a decision on their application for asylum. Judge Seeborg ruled that the president's policy violates federal law because it threatens immigrants seeking asylum with removal to their home countries where their life or freedom would be threatened.

The judge's ruling provides some additional clarity about the status of immigrants who are waiting in the United States for an asylum decision. Migrants who find themselves in this awkward situation do not need to fear immediate deportation to their home county. Instead, they are entitled to wait in the United States until the Department of Homeland Security renders a final decision on their cases. For some, these decisions may be weeks or months in the future.

The administration has not provided a definitive statement about whether it will appeal this ruling or ask the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for interlocutory relief pending a final decision in the case. Anyone who may be affected by Judge Seeborg's decision may wish to consult an experienced immigration attorney for advice on possible outcomes.

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