A Trump administration ban on asylum seekers who travel through another country on their way to the southern border can go ahead on a temporary basis, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly ruled Wednesday, Politico reported.
The ruling gives at least a short-term victory for President Donald Trump, who has tried to dramatically limit the number of Central American migrants arriving at the border by making the asylum process more stringent.
The D.C.-based federal judge denied a motion filed by immigrant legal service providers to stop the policy’s implementation, ruling the plaintiffs had not proved they would suffer “irreparable harm” due to the ban.
Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli praised the ruling in a tweet:
“DHS’s new Asylum Rule stands in D.C. Court ruling! A major victory for @realDonaldTrump’s efforts to stop the crisis at our Southern border.”
Kelly, a Trump appointee, did not rule on the merits of the case, but suggested he would consider the “severely strained” immigration system when deciding the issue.
Plaintiffs said they would continue the legal fight against the new asylum ban despite the ruling.
Neal Katyal, a partner at the Hogan Lovells law firm representing the legal service providers, said in a written statement “We continue to believe that the merits of this case are very strong and look forward to their resolution in the courts.”