The backlog of immigration cases surpasses 800,000 according to reports. The Trump administration still believes the policy complies with U.S. law and it remains unknown if they will openly defy the judge's order and continue to enforce the policy.
A U.S. judge on Monday temporarily barred the Trump administration from enforcing its “Remain in Mexico” policy, which returns asylum seekers back to Mexico while they await a hearing.
San Francisco Judge Richard Seeborg ordered the administration on Monday to halt the deportation of asylum seekers and gave federal officials until Friday to contest the decision, according to The Associated Press. The ruling comes after two civil liberties groups sued the administration over its December 2018 policy sending foreign nationals seeking asylum in the U.S. back to Mexico while they await immigration hearings.
The suit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Center for Gender & Refugee Studies on behalf of 11 asylum seekers. It alleges that the administration is violating immigrants’ rights to apply for asylum by making it very difficult to do so. The suit also claims that the administration is failing to recognized and address the violent conditions that are forcing migrants to seek asylum in the U.S., according to the groups.
“This is a naked attempt by the Trump administration to eviscerate our country’s asylum protections,” ACLU attorney Jennifer Chang said in a statement following the lawsuit’s filing.