Judge spares some asylum seekers from partial ban

Immigration

Asylum seekers in Tijuana, Mexico, listen to names being called from a waiting list to claim asylum at a border crossing in San Diego, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. The Trump administration played “bait and switch” by instructing migrants to wait in Mexico for an opportunity to apply for asylum before imposing sharp restrictions on eligibility, attorneys said in a court filing Thursday. (AP Photo/Elliot Spagat)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a partial ban on asylum doesn’t apply to anyone who appeared at an official border crossing before July 16 to make a claim, a move that could spare thousands of people.

The Trump administration said in July that it would deny asylum to anyone who traveled through another country without applying there first. The ban was on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court decided in September that it could take effect during a legal challenge.

U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant sided Tuesday with advocacy groups who said the administration engaged in an “immoral bait-and-switch” by telling asylum seekers who arrived before the ban was announced that they should wait at an official crossing until space opened up to process them.

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