At the behest of the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Obama appointee federal district judge Jon S. Tigar imposed a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the president’s proclamation refusing asylum to those who cross the border illegally. This massive blow to Trump’s hard line on illegal immigration comes hot on the heels of news that Mexicans in Tijuana are desperate to have the caravan move on from their city citing crime, violence, and inability to cope with such numbers.
On Nov. 9th, the president stated:
“I just signed the proclamation on asylum – very important … People can come in but they have to come in through the points of entry.”
CCR lawyer, Baher Azmy, argued that the international laws on seeking asylum were being ignored. “Individuals are entitled to asylum if they cross between ports of entry. It couldn’t be clearer,” he said.
While advocates of open borders will be celebrating this decision not just as a rebuke against the president but also as the groundwork for future cases involving illegal entry, it is apparent that the sympathetic media is unwilling to ask the key questions.
- If an individual has a valid claim for asylum, why would they seek entry at a location where it will be more difficult to begin the process of application?
- Are no open border activists worried that children, drugs or weapons will be easier to traffic through mules if immigrants are not required to pass through legal entry points?
It is arguable that this ruling will only help those who either do not have a valid case for asylum, are engaged in criminal trafficking, or are criminals seeking to hide their true identity.
Blind Justice and Judges
Judge Tigar stated that the president’s actions constituted an “extreme departure” from normal practice, and that:
“Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden.”
Yet an extreme departure from standard practice would be expected in extreme circumstances. An estimated 7,000 strong caravan of migrants, each seeking to claim asylum (despite being offered asylum in Mexico) is an outlier in terms of regular immigration. Therefore, extraordinary measures would seem applicable.
By tying the president’s hands with this TRO, the San Francisco judge has effectively declared it impossible to refuse entry to any and all comers to the United States. And while the vast majority of people within the caravan will be genuinely seeking safety from crime, persecution, or even extreme poverty, it is the criminal element that is happy to abuse both people and circumstance that presents a serious threat to national security.
Judges should be impartial and execute their understanding of the law to the best of their abilities, but they are in the privileged position of not being held responsible for the impact of their decisions. When we finally discover how many children were prostituted, how many drug-related deaths result, and how many innocents are murdered by people who are fleeing justice in their own country, when this final number is tallied, it will not be Judge Tigar who is held responsible. Nor will it be the open border activists who have to try and mend the devastated nation afterward.