Judge restores nationwide injunction of Trump asylum ban (Updated)

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Protestors hold signs that read " Asylum is a Right" outside of the San Francisco Federal Courthouse on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 in San Francisco, Calif. A federal judge said Wednesday that the Trump administration can enforce its new restrictions on asylum for people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border while lawsuits challenging the policy play out. (AP Photo/Haven Daley)

Politico reports, Judge restores nationwide block of asylum ban:

A San Francisco-based federal judge on Monday restored a nationwide injunction against President Donald Trump’s move to ban asylum seekers who pass through another country en route to the United States.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar issued the order after considering new evidence presented in an ongoing lawsuit of the third-country asylum ban.

The decision to block the policy nationwide for the second time comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in August narrowed an earlier injunction by Tigar. The 9th Circuit’s decision kept the policy blocked in California and Arizona, but allowed it to be implemented in Texas and New Mexico. [That has now been superseded].

The administration in July issued a new fast-track asylum regulation to prevent migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. if they first pass through another country and don’t apply for protection in that nation. The measure effectively cut off asylum protections for Central American migrants who travel to the U.S.-Mexico border from their home country, but has been hampered by the ongoing litigation.

Tigar, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, initially ruled to block the ban temporarily in July after he found the regulation was likely invalid because it conflicted with federal asylum laws. Tigar had also blocked an earlier Trump asylum ban that barred asylum seekers who cross the border between ports of entry.

Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan characterized Monday’s order as another example of the “unprecedented judicial activism” the administration has encountered in attempting to implement its immigration agenda.

“Every single time that this administration comes up with what we believe is a legal rule or policy that we really believe that will address this crisis, we end up getting enjoined,” Morgan said at a White House briefing. “It’s very, very frustrating, but we’re just going to keep going.”

This is bullshit whining. The Trump administration does not concern itself with what is legal in devising policy, it only cares about its policy objective. Little thought and legal analysis goes into its policies. At the last count I can find from April of this year, the Trump administration has lost in court 63 times (Washington Post). “In case after case, judges have rebuked Trump officials for failing to follow the most basic rules of governance for shifting policy, including providing legitimate explanations supported by facts and, where required, public input.” There is no good faith on the part of the Trump administration. The Post needs to update its lawsuit count because the Trump administration has lost numerous times in the courts since  this report. This is a lawless administration.

The Trump administration already has petitioned the Supreme Court to set aside the judge’s order and allow the policy to go into effect, and Grisham said Monday that the “request remains pending.”

An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, Lee Gelernt, hailed the decision, saying in a statement that the court “recognized there is grave danger facing asylum-seekers along the entire stretch of the southern border.”

Trump has moved aggressively to curb the flow of Central American migrants seeking to traverse Mexico and cross the United States’ southwestern border.

In June, he backed off a threat to level escalating duties on Mexican imports, instead striking a deal with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government whereby Mexico would deploy 6,000 National Guard troops to the country’s southern border with Guatemala to restrain Central American migration.

That agreement appears to have yielded substantial results, with border arrests dropping to just 51,000 in August from a peak in May — a decrease of more than 60 percent, according to CBP figures published Monday and first reported by POLITICO.

In a related matter, the Washington Post reports that Senate Democrats to force one more vote against Trump’s border emergency declaration:

Senate Democrats plan to force another vote in Congress aimed at overturning President Trump’s border emergency — potentially triggering another standoff between the administration and congressional Republicans over the billions in dollars being siphoned from the Pentagon to pay for Trump’s border wall.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to announce later Tuesday that Democratic senators will force a second vote in the chamber this year on a resolution to terminate Trump’s emergency border declaration, according to a senior Senate Democratic official.

The procedure to disapprove Trump’s border emergency being deployed by Schumer is privileged, meaning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would be unable to block the vote from happening on the floor. In the last Senate vote to reject the emergency declaration, a dozen Republican senators defied Trump to reject his border emergency, with most decrying the president’s move as a potential abuse of separation of powers.

Schumer plans to say Tuesday that “as stipulated by the National Emergencies Act, Democrats will once again force a vote to terminate the president’s national emergency declaration.”

“This vote will also provide a chance for Senators to prevent the president from stealing military funding from their states to foot the bill for an expensive and ineffective wall he promised Mexico would pay for.”

Trump’s theft of Department of Defense funding and disaster aid funding for money to build his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border is unconstitutional and illegal. As The Post editorializes today, The collateral damage for Trump’s wall is now clear:

Now that President Trump has pillaged $3.6 billion in congressionally approved military construction funds to pay for part of his border wall, the collateral damage is becoming clear. That big update scheduled for the U.S. Military Academy’s engineering center? Gone. Five major hurricane-related repair projects on military bases in Puerto Rico? Not happening. Hundreds of millions of dollars to build and refurbish schools for American military children at U.S. facilities at home and overseas? Sorry, kids: Mr. Trump wants his wall — the one it turns out Mexico is not paying for.

The pain of Mr. Trump’s raid was felt even by Republicans, though the Pentagon’s building projects in their districts and states were ransacked to a somewhat lesser degree than those in Democratic areas, according to an analysis by Politico. Most took it stoically, while suggesting that Congress should now step up to replenish what the president had robbed.

Mr. Trump has justified his raid on military funds by citing what he calls a national emergency along the southern border — namely, illegal crossings by migrants from Central America. As it happens, those crossings have fallen by more than half since they spiked in May, as measured by Border Patrol apprehensions. Still, if money appropriated by the legislative branch can be snatched away so cavalierly by the executive, what is to stop a Democratic president from invoking national security to redirect funds — from military bases or even, say, farm subsidies — to promote gun safety, or for some other favored policy?

The projects sacked by Mr. Trump come from military installations in nearly half the states, plus three U.S. territories, as well as bases and facilities on the territory of America’s European allies. Puerto Rico, for which the president expresses open contempt, was a special target; plans at facilities there will lose more than $400 million. Projects at bases in Guam, which North Korean President Kim Jong Un explicitly threatened with nuclear attack, were whacked by $257 million. More than $700 million was snatched from sites in Europe, mainly for projects designed to protect the continent from Russian aggression.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic primary hopeful, made the point that one project now mothballed by Mr. Trump’s move, a cybersecurity center in Virginia, seemed a more contemporary national security priority than what he regards as Mr. Trump’s 17th-century border barrier. “The biggest threats to this country aren’t things that are stopped by walls,” Buttigieg said. That’s accurate.

Congress has a duty to defend its constitutional prerogative of “control of the purse” in deciding how public money gets spent Under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. Those Republicans who fail to defend their chamber’s constitutional prerogative of “control of the purse” are violating their oath of office, and are allowing their “Dear Leader” to unconstitutionally and illegally steal money that Congress has deliberated and appropriated to other priorities in order to fund his medieval vanity project. They are accessories who are aiding and abetting Trump’s crime. They must be removed from Congress.

UPDATED: Late Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals put a temporary hold on a Monday ruling by federal Judge Jon Tigar that blocked Asylum Ban 2.0 nationwide. Injunction against Trump policy lifted in asylum case:

Acting at the request of the Trump administration, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an administrative stay Tuesday night that put on hold the injunction issued Monday by San Francisco-based U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar.

The temporary hold implemented while the appeals court considers a longer stay essentially restores the legal situation that existed prior to this week, with Trump’s policy blocked only in the Ninth Circuit, which includes the border regions of California and Arizona.

This allows the administration, once again, to implement its new policy in New Mexico and Texas, barring rulings from other federal courts.




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