If you are an immigrant seeking asylum in the United States, it doesn’t really matter how you crossed the border, a federal judge ruled on Monday.
The Associated Press reports that U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar sided with legal groups that have clashed with the Trump administration after the president issued a proclamation declaring that anyone who crossed the southern border outside of legal check points would be ineligible for asylum.
“Whatever the scope of the President’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” Tigar said, noting in his ruling that federal law permits someone to seek asylum once they have arrived in the United States “whether or not at a designated port of arrival.”
The AP reports:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Monday that it closed off northbound traffic for several hours at the San Ysidro crossing. It has also installed movable, wire-topped barriers, apparently to stop a potential mass rush of people.
As of Monday, 107 people detained between official crossings have sought asylum since Trump’s order went into effect, according to DHS, which oversees Customs and Border Protection. Officials didn’t say whether those people’s cases were still progressing through other, more difficult avenues left to them after the proclamation.
“Individuals are entitled to asylum if they cross between ports of entry,” Baher Azmy, a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which sued the government alongside the American Civil Liberties Union said, according to the AP. “It couldn’t be clearer.”
All of this unfolded as some 3,000 people from the first migrant caravans arrived from Tijuana, Mexico across the border from San Diego.