The White House has slammed a federal judge for blocking an order from Attorney General William Barr that certain asylum-seekers cannot be released on bond by immigration judges.
“The district court’s injunction is at war with the rule of law. The decision only incentivises smugglers and traffickers, which will lead to the further overwhelming of our immigration system by illegal aliens. No single district judge has legitimate authority to impose his or her open borders views on the country”, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham pointed out.
In this vein, she called for more efforts to “restore” US democracy and “ensure Americans have the voice to which they are entitled under our Constitution”.
He remarks followed US District Judge Marsha Pechman in Washington state writing in her ruling that “it is unconstitutional to deny these class members [asylum-seekers] a bond hearing while they await a final determination of their asylum request”.
Explaining her injunction against Barr’s directive instructing authorities to keep migrants in detention while their asylum claims are processed, Pechman specifically pointed to the plaintiffs’ constitutional interest in a bond hearing.
“The court finds that plaintiffs have established a constitutionally-protected interest in their liberty, a right to due process which includes a hearing before a neutral decision-maker to assess the necessity of their detention, and a likelihood of success on the merits of that issue,” she emphasised.
In the order issued in April, Barr, in particular, wrote that those asylum-seekers who are able to demonstrate a "credible fear" and are sent to full deportation proceedings cannot be released on bond.
The latest developments come amid the Trump administration’s crackdown on US asylum laws, which especially intensified in late June, when President Trump announced that his administration would soon begin mass deportations of illegal immigrants.
Shortly after, he tweeted that he delayed wide-ranging immigration raids across the US for two weeks at the request of Democrats in order “to work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems. At the same time, he warned that if no compromise between Democrats and Republicans is reached, “the deportations” will start.
On Monday, however, Trump announced that the raids would kick off after 4 July, when he said “a lot of people are going to be brought back out”.
Earlier, media reports said that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was preparing an operation in major US cities to roundup some 2,000 illegal aliens. The raids were reportedly expected in about a dozen cities, including Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.
State of New York Attorney General Letitia James, for his part, slammed it as “an immoral and unconscionable act by a [US] president”, pledging that New Yorkers will do their best “to fight back against these inhumane policies”.
In a separate development last month, US Customs and Border Protection chief Carla Provost told the US House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee that more than 100,000 migrants had evaded arrest after entering the US illegally this year.
Last fall, pedestrian caravans of migrants from Central American countries seeking asylum in the US began moving north through Mexico. Trump described the surge of arrivals as a “crisis” and declared a national emergency in February in a move that enabled him to divert military funds toward the construction of a massive wall on the border with Mexico.