US ap­peals court won’t im­me­di­ately al­low Trump asy­lum ban

Imperial Valley Press - - LOCAL & REGION - BY SUDHIN THANAWALA

SAN FRAN­CISCO — A di­vided U.S. ap­peals court late Fri­day re­fused to im­me­di­ately al­low the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to en­force a ban on asy­lum for any im­mi­grants who il­le­gally cross the U.S.-Mex­ico border.

The ban is in­con­sis­tent with an ex­ist­ing U.S. law and an at­tempted end-run around Congress, a panel of the 9th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals said in a 2-1 de­ci­sion.

“Just as we may not, as we are of­ten re­minded, ‘leg­is­late from the bench,’ nei­ther may the Ex­ec­u­tive leg­is­late from the Oval Of­fice,” 9th Cir­cuit Judge Jay By­bee, a nom­i­nee of Repub­li­can Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush, wrote for the ma­jor­ity.

A spokesman for the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice, Steven Stafford, did not have com­ment. But he re­ferred to an ear­lier state­ment that called the asy­lum sys­tem bro­ken and said the depart­ment looked for­ward to “con­tin­u­ing to de­fend the Ex­ec­u­tive Branch’s le­git­i­mate and well-rea­soned ex­er­cise of its au­thor­ity to ad­dress the cri­sis at our south­ern border.”

At is­sue is Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s Nov. 9 procla­ma­tion that barred any­one who crossed the U.S.-Mex­ico border be­tween of­fi­cial ports of en­try from seek­ing asy­lum. Trump is­sued the procla­ma­tion in re­sponse to car­a­vans of mi­grants ap­proach­ing the border.

A lower court judge tem­po­rar­ily blocked the ban and later re­fused to im­me­di­ately re­in­state it. The ad­min­is­tra­tion ap­pealed to the 9th Cir­cuit for an im­me­di­ate stay of Judge Jon Ti­gar’s Nov. 19 tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der.

In a dis­sent­ing opin­ion Fri­day, 9th Cir­cuit Judge Ed­ward Leavy said the ad­min­is­tra­tion “adopted le­gal meth­ods to cope with the cur­rent problems ram­pant at the south­ern border.” Noth­ing in the law the ma­jor­ity cited pre­vented a rule cat­e­gor­i­cally bar­ring el­i­gi­bil­ity for asy­lum on the ba­sis of how a per­son en­tered the coun­try, Leavy, a nom­i­nee of Repub­li­can Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan, said.

In his Nov, 19 rul­ing, Ti­gar sided with le­gal groups who ar­gued that fed­eral law is clear that im­mi­grants in the U.S. can re­quest asy­lum re­gard­less of whether they en­tered legally.

The pres­i­dent “may not re­write the im­mi­gra­tion laws to im­pose a con­di­tion that Congress has ex­pressly for­bid­den,” the judge said in his or­der.

The rul­ing led to an un­usual pub­lic dis­pute be­tween Trump and Chief Jus­tice John Roberts af­ter Trump dis­missed Ti­gar — an ap­pointee of Trump’s pre­de­ces­sor — as an “Obama judge.”

Roberts re­sponded with a state­ment that the fed­eral ju­di­ciary doesn’t have “Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clin­ton judges.”

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