Federal Judge Strikes Down Biden Administration Asylum Rule 

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Mario Tama/SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday dealt another blow to President Joe Biden’s immigration agenda when he struck down the administration’s latest policy limiting migrants’ ability to seek asylum.

Biden’s policy prohibits some migrants from applying for asylum if they did not first apply for protections from other countries while traveling to the United States. Biden’s policy went into effect on May 12 and was slated to have a two-year lifespan. The president announced this policy after his administration ended Title 42.

Still, the policy allows exceptions for unaccompanied children and those in “imminent” harm.

However, Obama-appointed U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California struck down the policy, deeming it “arbitrary and capricious.”

Tigar said Biden’s administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act with its abbreviated 33-day window for public comment. In the 35-page ruling, Tigar compared Biden’s rule to a similar Trump administration rule he struck down in 2019.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

File/ Immigrants from India wait to board a U.S. Border Patrol bus to be taken for processing after crossing the border from Mexico on May 22, 2022 in Yuma, Arizona. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

“The Court concludes that the Rule is contrary to law because it presumes ineligible for asylum noncitizens who enter between ports of entry, using a manner of entry that Congress expressly intended should not affect access to asylum,” Tigar wrote.

Biden’s administration plans to appeal the judge’s decision, which will go into effect in 14 days.

“We strongly disagree with today’s ruling and are confident that the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule is lawful. The Department of Justice has said it will quickly appeal this decision and seek a stay pending appeal,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “To be clear, because the district court temporarily stayed its decision, today’s ruling does not change anything immediately.”

Mayorkas continued:

It does not limit our ability to deliver consequences for unlawful entry. Do not believe the lies of smugglers. Those who fail to use one of the many lawful pathways we have expanded will be presumed ineligible for asylum and, if they do not have a basis to remain, will be subject to prompt removal, a minimum five-year bar on admission, and potential criminal prosecution for unlawful reentry. We encourage migrants to ignore the lies of smugglers and use lawful, safe, and orderly pathways that have been expanded under the Biden Administration.

In June, border crossings reached the lowest level since Biden entered office. Fewer than 100,000 people were reportedly apprehended at the border last month.

However, attorneys for the plaintiffs praised Tigar’s ruling as a “victory.”

“The ruling is a victory, but each day the Biden administration prolongs the fight over its illegal ban, many people fleeing persecution and seeking safe harbor for their families are instead left in grave danger,” deputy director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union Katrina Eiland, who argued the case for the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

The Case is East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Biden, No. 18-cv-06810-JST, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at jdixonhamilton@breitbart.com or follow him on Twitter.

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