Trump's Plan To Deny Asylum to Migrants Who Enter U.S. Outside Ports of Entry Struck Down by Federal Judge — Again

President Donald Trump's plan to deny asylum to any migrant who enters the country outside of a designated port of entry was invalidated by a federal judge on Friday, marking the second ruling against the controversial policy in the past week.

U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss ruled that the policy is "inconsistent" with the Immigration and Nationality Act and therefore cannot be put into effect. The 1952 act contains some of the most important provisions of U.S. immigration law.

"The Rule is contrary to law and must, as a result, be set aside," Moss wrote in his 77-page ruling.

The immigration policy, which would limit the amount of asylum claims to migrants who enter the country at legal ports of entry, was issued by Trump in a proclamation in November 2018. The president told reporters at the time that "we want people to come into our country, but they have to come into the country legally."

Friday's decision was the second time in under a week that a federal court has ruled against the asylum policy.

On July 24, a judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked the new immigration rule after finding that the government's frustration with the increasing amount of border crossings didn't justify changing the law.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar handed down the ruling, citing a "mountain" of evidence that migrants could not safely wait for asylum in Mexico instead of crossing over to the U.S. side of the border. He added that the Trump administration's attempt to" shortcut" the law was not the solution to the problem.

asylum seekers border patrol texas
Border Patrol agents watch over immigrants after taking them into custody on July 02, 2019 in Los Ebanos, Texas. Hundreds of immigrants, most from Central America, turned themselves in to border agents after rafting across the Rio Grande from Mexico to seek political asylum in the United States. John Moore/Getty

The Trump administration is already appealing Judge Tigar's decision before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The president is also likely to try appealing Friday's ruling by Judge Moss.

The asylum policy is part of the Trump administration's crackdown on legal and illegal immigration. The White House has argued that migrants, largely from Latin America, have been gaming the system by falsely claiming asylum but those claims are largely unsubstantiated.

Recently, the Trump administration announced a new migration accord with foreign nations like Guatemala and Mexico that would require asylum candidates to first seek safety in their country before coming to the U.S.

Attorney General William Barr also issued a ruling that will seriously restrict the number of people who can seek asylum. The measure makes it more difficult for migrants to claim that they need protection because their family members are facing threats.

Trump touched on immigration during his 2020 rally in Ohio on Thursday night. In his speech, the president criticized America's immigration system as "totally broken" and vowed to fix it if Republicans win the House, Senate and the presidency in 2020. The GOP controlled those three branches for the first two years of Trump's presidency but still failed to enact their immigration policies.

"We're going to do a merit-based immigration system," Trump said. "Merit based. Merit-based immigration, and we need that, because we have companies coming in from all over the world, and we need good workers, we need good people."