A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the Trump administration from enforcing new asylum restrictions for immigrants at the US-Mexico border, marking the latest defeat for a president waging an all-out battle in the courts to stop the flow of migrants into the country, the AP reports. The ruling by US District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco came hours after a judge in Washington decided to let the rules stand. The California ruling halts the policy across the border as lawsuits play out in court. The new asylum rules would prevent most migrants at the southern border from seeking asylum in the US if they passed through another country first. Most of the immigrants crossing the border are from Central America, making most of them ineligible for asylum because they passed through Mexico.
It also would affect asylum seekers from Africa, Asia, and South America who arrive regularly at the southern border. The restrictions went into effect last week, though there were conflicting reports on whether US immigration agencies were actually enforcing it. Top US officials say their plan would discourage migrants from leaving their countries, which they say is necessary to reduce the numbers of people that border agents are detaining. Tigar, who was appointed by President Obama, has already barred less restrictive asylum policies from taking effect and could permanently block the new asylum policy. The judge said the new policy could expose migrants to violence and abuse, deny their rights under international law, and return them to countries they were fleeing.
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