U.S. judge blocks Trump asylum restrictions

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A federal judge has temporarily blocked the Trump administration from refusing asylum to immigrants caught crossing into the USA illegally.

"U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar ruled that the administration's new policy of cutting off asylum to migrants who enter the country illegally appears to run afoul of U.S. law that specifically allows them to do so".

The president claimed repeatedly ahead of this month's midterm elections that the USA was under threat from a slow-moving "caravan" of migrants fleeing violence in Central America. It is lawful and appropriate that this discretionary benefit not be given to those who violate a lawful and tailored presidential proclamation aimed at controlling immigration in the national interest. Officials did not say whether those people's cases were still progressing through the other, more hard avenues available to them after the proclamation.

Trump also attempted an earlier crackdown on illegal immigration that resulted in children being separated from the adults who illegally brought them into the country; that policy was ultimately changed.

It said the president had the power to "suspend the entry of all aliens" and to impose "any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate on them" if they were judged to be "detrimental" to U.S. interests under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Mr Gelernt said the ACLU had recently learned Mexican authorities have begun barring unaccompanied minors from applying at U.S. ports of entry.

"Congress has clearly commanded that immigrants be eligible for asylum regardless of where they enter", the judge said.

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There has been no response yet to the San Francisco ruling.

Mexicans migrants watch as workers place concertina wire on the border structure Separating Mexico and the United States, where the border meets the Pacific Ocean, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. It quotes Army Lt Gen Jeffrey Buchanan as saying they have an "end date" of 15 December.

USA and California state flags fly behind the border wall, seen from Tijuana, Mexico, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018.

Many plan to make their asylum claims at the San Ysidro port of entry, though it could take weeks, if not months, for all of their claims to be processed.

About 3,000 people from the first of the caravans have arrived in Tijuana, Mexico, across the border from San Diego, California. Economic migrants do not qualify for asylum. If the fear is determined to be credible, the individuals are referred to immigration courts.

Some 20,455 people were given asylum in 2016, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

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