A federal judge in Washington, D.C., blocked a Trump administration rule that disqualified immigrants at the southern U.S. border from receiving asylum unless they had already sought it elsewhere.
U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly ruled Tuesday that the government had "unlawfully promulgated" the asylum rule, bypassing the usual public comment process required under the Administrative Procedure Act. A federal judge in California had earlier blocked enforcement of the rule, which was part of a broader immigration crackdown by President Donald Trump.
Immigration advocates said the rule would make it more difficult for anyone fleeing persecution and violence in Central America to receive asylum. The administration argued that observing the notice-and-comment requirement would lead to a surge of asylum-seekers at the southern border while the rule was pending. Kelly disputed that claim, saying the government had provided no specific evidence for it besides a single article in The Washington Post.
"The article does little if anything to support defendants' prediction that undertaking notice-and-comment rule-making would have led to a dramatic, immediate surge of asylum applications at the border," the judge said.
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