In a landmark ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John S. Tigar put a hold on a Biden administration rule that sought to restrict asylum applications. The rule, criticized by migrant rights groups, requires migrants to apply for asylum online before reaching the U.S.-Mexico border or to first seek protection in the country they passed through.
The judge delayed the implementation of the ruling to allow the Biden administration to appeal.
Advocates hailed the judge’s decision, arguing that the rule contravened U.S. law guaranteeing the right to asylum regardless of entry method. They cited the inadequate capacity of the government’s CBP One app and concerns about migrants’ safety in transit countries like Mexico.
The administration, justifying the rule, highlighted that migrants should still access protection in other countries and via other pathways, like the CBP One app.
The judge noted the app’s appointments were far exceeded by demand, leaving many asylum seekers stranded in potentially dangerous situations.