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Court Blocks Trump's Policy Of Returning Asylum Seekers To Mexico

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A federal court temporarily blocked the Trump administration's new policy that forced Latin American asylum seekers to return to Mexico while their cases are processed.

In a ruling that came as a set back for the Trump administration's efforts to stem the flow of migrants seeking asylum through the US border with Mexico, US District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco said the Department of Homeland Security had overstepped its authority.

He granted a preliminary injunction sought by the American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Center for Gender & Refugee Studies against what the administration calls the "Migrant Protection Protocols."

The court rejected the government's policy of forcing asylum seekers to return to Mexico without hearing their claims.

"Try as it may, the Trump administration cannot simply ignore our laws in order to accomplish its goal of preventing people from seeking asylum in the United States," said Judy Rabinovitz, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 11 asylum seekers from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, and several organizations, citing violation of the United States' duty under international human rights law not to return people to dangerous conditions.

The lawsuit also pointed that the policy violates the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.

The court order comes amidst reports that the Trump administration is planning to move toward even more extreme immigration policies.

Migrants who manage to enter the United States have a legal right to seek asylum and are usually held in detention facilities while their application is processed.

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