22:22 GMT07 August 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld a lower court's decision to block the Trump administration from denying asylum to anyone who passes through Mexico or another country without first seeking it there.

    "The panel affirmed the District Court’s grant of a preliminary injunction against enforcement, in the four states on the United States-Mexico border, of a Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security joint interim final rule… which - with limited exceptions - categorically denies asylum to aliens arriving at the border with Mexico unless they have first applied for, and have been denied, asylum in Mexico or another country through which they have traveled", US Judge William Fletcher wrote on Monday.

    On 30 June, a lower court judge ruled that the Trump administration's third-country transit ban against asylum-seeking migrants is 'unlawful'.

    'Humanitarian Crisis' on US-Mexican Border

    The situation around illegal aliens has been tense since the fall of 2018, when caravans of migrants from Central American countries began heading toward the US-Mexican border to seek asylum in the United States. In July 2019, US President Donald Trump signed a $4.6 billion aid package to help federal agencies resolve the surge of Central American refugees at the US-Mexico border, calling the situation a humanitarian crisis.

    “This is a humane solution to a tremendous problem that starts because of our bad immigration laws”, Trump pointed out.

    In 2019, Trump strongly pressed for the building of a physical wall along the 2000-mile border with Mexico, one of his main campaign pledges during the 2016 US presidential race. The president went so far as to declare a national emergency in February of 2019 in an attempt to secure funds for the wall's construction. Trump believes that the wall will prevent the massive influx of undocumented migrants and drug trafficking. However, he has faced major resistance from Democrats concerning his handling of the border. He has been struggling to find sources of funding for the wall, as Congress refused to allocate funds from the budget at his request.

    In April 2020,  the US president temporarily suspended new immigrant visas "to protect American workers as we confront the coronavirus".

    "By pausing immigration, we’ll help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens. So important. It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labor flown in from abroad", Trump said in April.

    According to director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Matt Albence, in 2019, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal officers arrested a total of 143,000 illegal migrants. Some 123,000 of them had been criminally convicted or had pending criminal charges pertaining to homicides, sexual assaults, kidnappings, drug trafficking, and driving under the influence.

    In a bid to stop the influx of migrants, the US government has adopted Migrant Protection Protocols, requiring asylum-seeking migrants to wait in Mexico while they wait for their court proceedings. In June, the US and Mexico had clinched a deal under which Washington would abandon earlier plans to impose tariffs on Mexican goods in a bid to stop the migrant influx. The deal stipulates that Mexico will deploy its National Guard to its southern border and will work to dismantle human smuggling networks.

    migrants, transit ban, Donald Trump, United States
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