On Monday, April 8, 2019, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco blocked the recent policy of returning to Mexico the Central-American asylum seekers awaiting adjudication of their requests for admission.
Before the detainment policy, asylum seekers were typically released into the U.S. while they waited for a formal case decision. The Trump administration has tried to justify sending asylum seekers to Mexico because detainment centers have reached full capacity.
U.S. District Judge Seeborg found that the policy “does not apply to these circumstances, and even if it did, further procedural protections would be required.” Furthermore, the judge asserted that the policy does not “conform to the government’s acknowledged obligation to ensure aliens are not returned to unduly dangerous circumstances.”
The ruling is to take effect Friday, April 12, 2019, giving the Trump administration time to seek a stay of proceedings from a higher court.
A series of recent court decisions have slowed border policies of the current administration. In December, the Supreme Court rejected the administration’s request to reinstate the policy prohibiting immigrants from seeking asylum in cases where the individual illegally crossed the Southern border.
Asylum applications require a completion of the Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.