Pennsylvania residents may be interested to learn that a federal judge temporarily blocked the ability of the Trump administration to refuse asylum to people who cross the southern border illegally. The temporary restraining order was issued on Nov. 19 by a judge in San Francisco after hearing arguments from the Center for Constitutional Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union.
A number of immigrants have crossed in Arizona or Texas in the last few years and requested asylum when surrendering to immigration agents. The Department of Homeland Security has said that people should appear at official border crossings to seek asylum. However, the wait at those crossings can sometimes be as long as weeks.
A lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights says people have the right to seek asylum if they enter between ports of entry. According to an ACLU lawyer, in some cases, they are in danger and cannot wait on the southern side of the border. The DHS reports that around 700,000 people annually arrive between official ports of entry and request asylum.
About 3,000 people have arrived so far in Tijuana as part of a larger caravan that has recently made headlines. Since the temporary restraining order on Nov. 19, more than 100 people have been stopped between official crossings and have requested asylum. The status of their cases is not known.
The complexities of immigration law have been made even more complex in recent years. People who are seeking asylum, fighting deportation, trying to get a green card or applying for citizenship may want to consult an attorney. An attorney could explain the latest changes in immigration law and assist with the necessary documents. It is important that immigration paperwork is accurate since even small errors could cause delays.