The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has granted an emergency stay, allowing President Joe Biden’s new asylum policy to remain in effect. The Biden administration filed the motion to keep the policy in place while appealing a federal district court ruling that struck it down.
The new asylum policy was implemented after the expiration of Title 42, a controversial immigration policy introduced during the Trump era. Under the new policy, migrants who do not use legal pathways to enter the US are presumed ineligible for asylum. Human rights organizations strongly criticized the policy when it was announced by US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in May
The court ruled in favor of the Biden administration’s argument that blocking the new asylum policy would cause severe harm to the government and the public and disrupt operations at the southwest border. As a result, the district court’s ruling has been put on hold while the Biden administration appeals the decision.
While the majority of the appeals court supported the Biden administration’s position, Circuit Judge Lawrence VanDyke dissented in the 2-1 vote. He, along with District Judge Jon Tigar, who initially struck down the policy, found that the new rule was similar to the Trump-era rules previously invalidated by the court.
The new asylum policy requires migrants to use the CBP One app to schedule an asylum hearing. Failure to secure an appointment via the app results in the presumption of ineligibility for asylum. Migrants must then prove that the app was inaccessible or demonstrate a viable asylum claim at a US port of entry. Failure to do so may lead to a minimum five-year ban and potential criminal prosecution if they attempt to reenter the US.
Tensions have been rising at the US southern border, where the new asylum policy has been applied. This week, Mexican authorities found two bodies along the Rio Grande, and floating barriers installed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to control migrant crossings have become a subject of litigation between the Biden administration and the state of Texas.