OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
President Joe Biden got some more bad news from a federal court this week.
According to Reuters, on Tuesday, a U.S. federal judge in California issued a ruling to block a new rule designed to restrict asylum access along the U.S.-Mexico border. The court’s ruling overturns a critical aspect of President Joe Biden’s strategy to address the ongoing illegal immigration crisis, especially following the cessation of COVID-era Title 42 restrictions in May.
U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar issued the ruling in response to a legal challenge initiated by the American Civil Liberties Union and other left-wing advocacy groups. This ruling revived a 2018 case that had previously been filed against similar asylum restrictions imposed by the Trump administration.
The new rules took effect on May 11, as the Trump-era Title 42 ended.
The rule established a presumption that the majority of migrants are ineligible for asylum if they traveled through other countries without seeking protection there first or if they chose not to use legal pathways for entering the United States.
According to The New York Times, after the introduction of the mentioned regulation, there has been a decrease in the number of migrants apprehended while crossing the border illegally. Nevertheless, the figures remain significantly high.
In a comprehensive 35-page ruling, Tigar, an Obama appointee, emphasized that U.S. law explicitly states that crossing the border illegally should not be an impediment to seeking asylum, Reuters added.
Tigar contended that seeking refuge in countries like Belize, Mexico, or Colombia would be “infeasible” due to their limited processing capacity, which undermines the possibility of finding adequate asylum options in those nations.
Additionally, he asserted that according to U.S. law, restricting migrants’ access to asylum is permissible only if they pass through a country that genuinely offers a safe and viable option for seeking refuge.
In contrast to the Biden administration’s position, which suggested that migrants could enter the U.S. from abroad through different programs, such as the one for specific migrants with U.S. sponsors, Tigar asserted that these programs were not universally accessible and were “irrelevant to the availability of asylum.”
Republicans have repeatedly blasted the Biden administration over its lax border control policies which have resulted in near-historic levels of illegal crossings. Some have even suggested impeaching Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Rep. Matt Gaetz joined Newsmax TV’s new panel show in May to call his party out over its failure to get serious about impeaching Mayorkas after more than two years of migrant and drug-smuggling crises.
“If Republicans are serious about the border, we should impeach Secretary Mayorkas immediately. But I am ashamed to report that I do not think we have the votes right now to move that impeachment out of the House Judiciary Committee. That is WEAKNESS on the part of Republicans,” he tweeted along with a clip of the program.
Rep. Lauren Boebert has also demanded that Mayorkas face impeachment in the GOP-controlled House for failing to secure the southern border amid record human and drug smuggling.
The Colorado Republican’s call comes just days before the Trump-era Title 42 policy, implemented during the pandemic authorizing immediate deportation of most illegal immigrants, is set to end, which is expected to trigger another massive wave of migrants.
“Anyone who sees the situation at our Southern Border and thinks it’s okay is clearly not thinking straight. Mayorkas deserves impeachment and he deserves it fast,” she tweeted.
If Republicans are serious about the border, we should impeach Secretary Mayorkas immediately.
But I am ashamed to report that I do not think we have the votes right now to move that impeachment out of the House Judiciary Committee.
That is WEAKNESS on the part of Republicans. pic.twitter.com/xFtlNMD2xv
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) May 23, 2023
In February, shortly after the GOP took over the House, another Republican member filed additional articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, alleging he has failed to ensure adequate border security on his watch amid record-high encounters with illegal immigrants and drug smuggling.
According to Fox News, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) introduced a new article of impeachment against Mayorkas that accuses him of violating his oath of office and refusing to enforce duly-passed immigration laws.
The report noted further that Biggs has often called for Mayorkas to be removed from his position, accusing him in 2021 of having “engaged in a pattern of conduct that is incompatible with his duties as an Officer of the United States.”