On Wednesday, a federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s policy that would have made it more difficult for victims of domestic abuse and gang violence to seek asylum protections, also ruling that those deported under the policy have to be returned to the US, per CNN.
The policy left behind by former attorney general Jeff Sessions was refuted by a group of women and children who said their claims were subject to unusually rigorous review standards. Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled in favor of the asylum seekers, concluding that the government can no longer deport migrants residing in the U.S. “without first providing credible fear determinations consistent with the immigration laws,” and that it’s up to congress, “not the whims of the Executive,” to decide on precedent for expedited removal.
Because attorneys general have total control over immigration courts, Sessions was able to declare that asylum seekers had to prove their home country was unwilling or unable to help them before granting protections. This block is a welcome victory over those xenophobic policies. Judge Sullivan previously slammed Sessions’ Justice Department during a court hearing on credible fear when he found out that the plaintiffs were already on a plane back to their home country before a ruling was made, threatening to hold Sessions in contempt of court and demanding the plaintiffs’ return to the U.S.
For the time being, only those participating in the legal challenge will be affected by the now on-hold ruling, pending appeal.