Pile On: Court Blocks Trump Administration's New Asylum Rules

Posted: Jan 08, 2021 9:20 PM
Pile On: Court Blocks Trump Administration's New Asylum Rules

Source: AP Photo/Christian Torrez

Joe Biden's forecast for dark days ahead is turning out to be true, perhaps not in the sense that Biden predicted. The far-left cannot wait just a few short days until Biden's inauguration. On Friday, Democrats plotted an eleventh-hour impeachment, the fascists at Twitter banned the president, and a federal judge blocked the president's most sweeping set of Asylum restrictions. Dark days for the Republic indeed.

A U.S. District Judge in San Francisco, an Obama appointee, sided with advocacy groups who argued that acting Homeland Security secretary, Chad Wolf, lacked the statutory authority to impose asylum restrictions, the Associated Press reported. 

(Via the AP

The new rules had been set to take effect Monday. The ruling has limited immediate impact because the government has largely suspended asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border during the coronavirus pandemic, citing public health concerns.

Still, letting the rules take effect would have been felt by some who can still claim asylum and make it significantly more difficult for all asylum-seekers once pandemic-related measures are lifted.


It was not immediately clear if the Trump administration would make an emergency appeal.

The rules sought to redefine how people qualify for asylum and similar forms of humanitarian protection if they face persecution at home. The restrictions would have broadened the grounds for a judge to deem asylum applications “frivolous” and prohibit applicants from ever winning protections in the U.S.


The rules would narrow the types of persecution and severity of threats for which asylum is granted. Applicants seeking protections on the basis of gender or those who claim they were targeted by gangs, “rogue” government officials or “non-state organizations” would likely not be eligible for asylum.

Immigration judges would be directed to be more selective about granting asylum claims and allow them to deny most applications without a court hearing.

In March, the Trump administration instituted emergency coronavirus measures that effectively expelled around nine out of every 10 border arrivals. The administration also implemented its Remain in Mexico measure requiring asylum seekers to do just that while their asylum claims are adjudicated. 

Joe Biden has vowed to undo the Trump-era immigration reforms, but recently announced he would hold off on doing so for "probably the next six months" to prevent a flood of migrants at the border, according to the AP. In Biden's mind, six months from now will be the perfect time for a flood of immigrants. Border arrivals are already skyrocketing in anticipation of Biden's leniency.

In December, a federal judge reinstated the Obama-era DACA amnesty program after similarly ruling that acting Secretary Chad Wolf lacked the statutory authority to terminate the program. The logic goes that Wolf, like Kevin McAllenan before him, unlawfully filled the vacancy left by the departure of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in 2019.