Trump Extends Asylum Ban for Another 90 Days Despite California Injunction

President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Thursday to extend by another 90 days his order denying the possibility of asylum to migrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border outside designated ports of entry, according to a news release from the Office of the Press Secretary. This is despite the order having been blocked by a California judge.

In his proclamation,Trump noted that he had first ordered the asylum ban, which would have expired on November 9, 2018, after he found the U.S. immigration and asylum system to be "in a crisis as a consequence of the mass migration of aliens across the border between the United States and Mexico."

According to U.S. law, asylum claims from people who alleged they fled their home countries out of fear of violence or persecution must be heard, regardless of how they entered the U.S., but Trump attempted to invoke executive power to enforce the ban.

That bid was blocked by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco, who issued a temporary restraining order after hearing complaints from civil rights groups.

In his new proclamation, Trump complained that the nationwide injunction has "hampered" his administration's ability to address "the problem of large numbers of aliens traveling through Mexico to enter our country unlawfully or without proper documentation.

"An average of approximately 2,000 inadmissible aliens continue to enter the United States each day at our southern border," Trump said. "And large, organized groups of aliens continue to travel through Mexico toward the United States with the reported intention to enter the United States unlawfully or without proper documentation.

"That injunction currently prevents the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security from implementing an interim final rule that would render any alien who enters the country in contravention of a proclamation limiting or suspending entry at the southern border, including Proclamation 9822, ineligible to be granted asylum," the president said.

He noted that his administration was appealing the injunction and said that "should the injunction be lifted, aliens who enter the United States unlawfully through the southern border in contravention of this proclamation will be ineligible to be granted asylum under that interim final rule."

In a statement released shortly after Trump's proclamation, the American Civil Liberties Union said that while Trump has extended his asylum ban order, "the ban remains blocked by a preliminary injunction obtained by the [ACLU], Southern Poverty Law Center and Center for Constitutional Rights late last year."

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Al Otro Lado, the Innovation Law Lab, the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant and the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles.

Ultimately, Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said: "The ban remains illegal and is still blocked by the courts."

President Donald Trump attends the 2019 National Prayer Breakfast on February 7, in Washington, D.C. The president has extended his asylum ban, despite a court injunction blocking its enforcement. Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty