US Appeals Court Grants Emergency Stay, Upholding Biden Administration’s Asylum Policy

In a recent development, 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. This decision comes after the Biden administration filed a motion to keep the policy in place while appealing a federal district court ruling that had struck it down.

The new asylum policy was put into effect following the expiration of Title 42, an immigration policy implemented during the Trump era that had sparked controversy. Under the new policy, migrants who do not use legal pathways to enter the US are automatically deemed ineligible for asylum. This policy announcement by US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in May received strong criticism from human rights organizations.

The court sided with the Biden administration’s argument that blocking the new asylum policy would result in significant harm to the government and the public, as well as disrupt operations at the southwest border. As a result, the district court’s ruling has been temporarily suspended while the Biden administration seeks to appeal the decision.

While the majority of the appeals court judges supported the Biden administration’s stance, Circuit Judge Lawrence VanDyke dissented in the 2-1 vote. VanDyke, along with District Judge Jon Tigar who initially invalidated the policy, noted that the new rule resembled the Trump-era policies that had previously been deemed invalid by the court.

Under the new asylum policy, migrants are required to schedule an asylum hearing using the CBP One app. Failure to secure an appointment through the app leads to the presumption that the migrant is ineligible for asylum. In such cases, migrants must either prove that the app was inaccessible or demonstrate a viable asylum claim at a US port of entry. Failure to do so may result in a minimum five-year ban and potential criminal prosecution if they attempt to reenter the US.

The implementation of the new asylum policy has caused tensions to escalate at the US southern border. This week, two bodies were discovered along the Rio Grande by Mexican authorities, and the installation of floating barriers by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to control migrant crossings has become a point of contention between the Biden administration and the state of Texas.

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