Federal Court Halts President Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Immigration Policy

click to enlarge A child waits in a sleeping shelter at the Matamoros border camp. - TWITTER / @CLARAB_KGBT
Twitter / @ClaraB_KGBT
A child waits in a sleeping shelter at the Matamoros border camp.
A federal appeals court blocked the Trump administration’s “remain in Mexico” policy on Friday, tossing out new rules requiring asylum seekers to camp south of the border while awaiting U.S. immigration hearings.

The program is a keystone of Trump's hardline immigration policy specifically directed at Central American migrants. Proponents argue the rule, called the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), prevents asylum seekers from coming into the U.S. and skipping out on court hearings.

However, civil rights groups say MPP exposes people with legitimate asylum claims to criminal activity and disease while they wait in makeshift camps. A report by Doctors Without Borders found that eight in 10 migrants the group treated in one Mexican border city reported being victims of violence.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled 2-1 to uphold a lower-court injunction on the rule, saying it's "invalid in its entirety due to its inconsistency" with federal law, the Washington Post reports.

Judges Richard A. Paez and William A. Fletcher, both appointees of President Bill Clinton, voted to uphold the injunction. Ferdinand F. Fernandez, appointed by President George H.W. Bush, voted against.

During a hearing, Fletcher pointed out that the federal government is doing little to protect asylum seekers stuck in Mexico, adding “you’re giving them nothing,” the Post reports.

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