A federal Judge in Washington delivered a blow to President Trump’s immigration agenda by striking down an administration rule that required migrants coming to the United States to first apply for asylum in the countries they travel through on their way to the American border.
Ironically, Judge Timothy Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia was appointed by President Donald Trump himself. Kelly delivered the opinion late Tuesday, asserting that the administration’s rule, published last year without a typical notice-and-comment period, did not comply with the Administrative Procedure Act governing how agencies should implement rules.
“Defendants unlawfully promulgated the rule without complying with the APA’s notice-and-comment requirements,” Kelly said. He stated that the court could vacate the rule without ruling on other claims.
The ruling arguably bucks the view of the Supreme Court that the asylum ban could go into effect when the high court ruled on this topic last September, suggesting there are additional legal battles on the way over how the administration is implementing asylum policies.
Kelly also denied the government's request to stay his order pending appeal, meaning he has blocked a policy that would have automatically denied asylum to a population of migrants that the U.S. had long allowed to at least file asylum applications once they reached U.S. soil.
The suit in this case was brought forward in August 2019 by the CAIR Coalition, Human Rights First, RAICES, Hogan Lovells, and nine individual asylum-seekers.
Last September, the Supreme Court in a brief, unsigned order allowed the Trump administration to continue enforcing its rule after another federal judge, U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar of San Francisco, slapped it with a preliminary injunction, citing evidence ostensibly proving that migrants could not seek asylum in Mexico safely.
It is not immediately clear how the decision will affect current border enforcement. The southern border has remained tightly sealed amid the COVID-19 pandemic to such a degree that only two people seeking asylum between March 21 and May 13 were allowed to stay, according to the Washington Post.
The White House is expected to appeal the decision, although Kelly denied a government request to stay his order vacating the rule pending appeal, saying, “The Court sees no reason to do so.”
Like many of President Trump’s judicial appointments, Kelly is a member of the Federalist Society, having joined the originalist, constitutionalist legal organization in 2009. Yet the judge has ruled against the man who appointed him before.
It was Kelly who presided over CNN v. Trump, in which the news network sued the president for revoking correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credential after Acosta refused to surrender the mic at a press briefing, insisting on asking President Trump about Special Counsel Mueller’s Russia investigation.
CNN claimed the White House violated Acosta’s First Amendment right to freedom of the press and Fifth Amendment right to due process. On November 16, 2018, Kelly ruled that Acosta could return to the White House, pending a trial. Ultimately, however, CNN dropped the suit.
Several of the president’s actions to curtail illegal immigration have been halted by the courts, though he has occasionally scored some wins.
In later June, the Supreme Court ruled that President Trump could not overturn Barack Obama’s DACA executive order, which gives protections to illegal aliens who came to the country as minors.
The ruling was made possible due to the decision of Chief Justice John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, to abandon the ranks of his fellow conservative justices and side with the court’s liberal minority.
It was Roberts who years earlier rescued another legacy Obama program — the disastrous and unconstitutional Obamacare.
President Trump did have a surprise immigration win in the courts last month, however. The Supreme Court, in a 7-2 vote, upheld the federal statute that allows the expedited removal of illegal aliens who claim asylum out of fear of returning home.
In that case, Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the majority opinion, wrote that the illegal alien who was the subject of the case did not prove that his due process rights were violated because “While aliens who have established connections in this country have due process rights in deportation proceedings, the Court long ago held that Congress is entitled to set the conditions for an alien’s lawful entry into this country and that, as a result, an alien at the threshold of initial entry cannot claim any greater rights under the Due Process Clause.”
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Luis Miguel is a marketer and writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.