On Friday, a federal judge in the Northern District of California blocked the Trump administration’s sweeping asylum restrictions that were to go into effect Monday. The restrictions would have broadened the ground for judges to reject asylum requests and would have made it all but impossible for many refugees to seek asylum, including those fleeing gender and sex-related violence in their countries of origin.
The judge in Friday’s decision, James Donato, who was appointed by Obama in 2013, ruled that acting Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf lacked the authority to impose the restrictions — the fifth time a court has ruled against Homeland Security along similar lines, ABC News reports.
“The government has recycled exactly the same legal and factual claims made in the prior cases,” Donato wrote in his decision. “This is a troubling litigation strategy. In effect, the government keeps crashing the same car into a gate, hoping that someday it might break through.”
The Department of Homeland Security has not had a Senate-approved secretary since the resignation of Kirstjen Nielsen in 2019.
The administration has curbed immigration and asylum-seeking with numerous restrictions over the years. This latest restriction would have made it more difficult for refugees who traveled through one or more countries in order to reach the United States — similar to how the administration applied restrictions to immigrants traveling through Mexico from other Latin American countries, but now with a wider scope, CNN reports.
The Biden administration has pledged to reverse course on many of the Trump administration’s actions, including immigration.