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  • The lawsuit was brought by Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, Human Rights First, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, as well as nine asylum-seekers.

    The lawsuit was brought by Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, Human Rights First, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, as well as nine asylum-seekers. | Photo: AFP/ Pedro Pardo

Published 2 July 2020
Opinion

 According to Judge Kelly 52 pages ruling the implementation of the "third-country traffic" law was  "arbitrary and capricious."

Judge Timothy J. Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled as unlawful the inmigration law implemented by Trump's administration during 2019, which allowed denying asylum to migrants who didn't seek protection in other countries in their path to the U.S.

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The so-called "third-country traffic" rule was approved in July 2019 as a mechanism by which the government to radically limit migration since the law established that people who did not seek asylum in at least one country in their way to the U.S would have to turn back.

The implementation of the law meant that Hondurans and Salvadorans would have to apply for — and be denied — asylum in Guatemala or Mexico before they were eligible to apply for asylum in the United States, as well as the Africans, Cubans and Haitians that pass through Mexico in their way North.

Although when the announcement was made, Mexico and Guatemala refused to follow the plan, the unilateral decision by the government went further anyway.

However, federal Judge Timothy J. Kelly, who was appointed by President Trump, has concluded that the rule violates the Immigration and Nationality Law (INA).

The INA law has been implemented since 1965, and it enables anyone who arrives at the U.S. to seek asylum.

According to Judge Kelly, 52 pages' ruling, the implementation of the "third-country traffic" law was "arbitrary and capricious" as well as unlawful since it now let the public weigh-in.

In response, the administration argued that allowing for a public comment period after announcing the rule would have prompted migrants to rush to the border, which the judge refused to accept.

Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition brought the lawsuit alongside Human Rights First, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, as well as nine asylum-seekers.

It also represents another setback in Trump's anti-migrant policies since the Supreme Court backed on June the Obama policy aimed at young migrants known as Dreamers, by sentencing that the administration had violated procedures in rolling back this program.

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U.S. Migrants
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