July 24, 2019 / 11:32 PM / 2 months ago

U.S. judge blocks new Trump asylum rule

Migrants wait to apply for asylum in the United States outside the El Chaparral border in Tijuana, Mexico July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge in San Francisco on Wednesday stopped the Trump administration from enforcing a new rule that would bar almost all asylum applications at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Judge Jon Tigar in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction blocking the rule, enacted on July 16, that would require asylum-seekers to first pursue safe haven in a third country through which they had travelled on their way to the United States.

A different U.S. judge had allowed the new rule to go forward earlier on Wednesday in a separate lawsuit in Washington.

The ruling by Tigar, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, renders inconsequential the decision by the Washington-based judge, Timothy Kelly, appointed by President Donald Trump.

The rule will now be suspended pending further proceedings.

Reporting by Daniel Trotta and Kristina Cooke; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Sonya Hepinstall

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