Courts & Litigation

Federal Judge Blocks Biden Administration Asylum Policy

Anna Hickey, Gia Kokotakis
Tuesday, July 25, 2023, 3:58 PM
A federal judge blocked a Biden administration policy making it harder for migrants to seek asylum at the southern border.

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

On July 25, U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar enjoined a Biden administration immigration policy that restricted access to asylum at the southern border. The rule assumed ineligibility for asylum-seekers if they passed through a country other than their own before crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The policy made some exceptions, including for unaccompanied children.

Judge Tigar found the rule to be in violation of U.S. asylum law, including because, 

“it presumes ineligible for asylum noncitizens who fail to apply for protection in a transit country, despite Congress’s clear intent that such a factor should only limit access to asylum where the transit country actually presents a safe option.”

Tigar blocked a similar Trump-era policy from taking effect in 2019. The Biden administration had implemented this rule in May 2023. Tigar stayed his order for two weeks, giving the Biden administration time to appeal the ruling. 

Read the ruling here or below.

Anna Hickey is the associate editor for communications of Lawfare. She holds a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies: communications, legal studies, economics, and government with a minor in international studies from American University.
Gia Kokotakis was an intern at Lawfare and is a senior at Georgetown University, where she studies government, French, and Jewish civilization. She received an Attestation d’Études Politiques from Sciences Po Lyon in May 2023.

Subscribe to Lawfare