A federal judge has blocked implementation of the latest Trump administration order intended to block the flow of asylum-seekers from Central America. Many people in Tennessee and across the country have raised alarm about the policy, which aimed to force asylum-seekers to stay in or return to Mexico to await processing of their claims. The administration pursued this policy against people seeking asylum despite the fact that these migrants are generally fleeing violence or persecution in their home countries.

The judge ordered that the 11 plaintiffs who had filed the challenge to the law must be allowed entry into the United States within two days. All are asylum-seekers from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. In addition to the action for these specific plaintiffs, the judge also ordered a nationwide preliminary injunction that would block the policy from going into effect anywhere on the U.S. southern border. President Trump replied angrily to the decision on Twitter, but immigration lawyers said that the administration has failed to consider existing law.

The judge noted specifically that the policy violated aspects of existing U.S. immigration law. He also said that these actions violated the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees, to which the U.S. is a signatory. He ruled that asylum-seekers continued to face serious risk to their lives and freedom if forced to remain in Mexico.

Because of the escalated policy changes that are intended to reduce immigration, many migrants are concerned about their own status. An immigration law attorney can provide advice and representation to people who want to adjust their immigration status, defend against deportation or remain in the country.

Source: USA Today, “Judge blocks Trump policy forcing asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico“, Alan Gomez, April 9, 2019