An immigrant who is being persecuted in their home country has the right to file asylum at the border. Recently the Trump administration has drastically changed the face of the asylum process at the southern border by rejecting claims of persecution by whole groups of people. Such people include women and children fleeing domestic, gang violence. As well as, those fleeing political persecution. However, to the contrary, Trump cannot just implement major immigration law changes without first changing the law through congress. This is the message that two U.S. federal judges sent loud and clear. In Washington, U.S. district judge Emmet Sullivan found that the Trump administration had no authority to categorically deny asylum claims based on domestic and gang violence.
In San Francisco, U.S. district court judge Jon Tigar also extended his order preventing the government from rejecting political asylum claim on the southern border. The Trump administration has claimed to have authority to set criteria for the asylum policy. However, by denying certain types of asylum, the Trump administration is essentially changing the asylum law completely. The law can only be changed by congress. The Justice Department will likely appeal the judges’ decisions which may go up to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has previously sided with the Trump administration in the muslim ban. This is a case worth paying attention to. If the Trump administration can go as far as change the face of asylum, then if permitted, they will aim to arbitrarily restrict other areas of immigration without congressional authority. A dangerous possibility.