Federal judge blocks new criminal disqualifiers to asylum

Federal judge blocks new criminal disqualifiers to asylum

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A federal judge on Thursday blocked a Trump administration rule about to take effect that would have put up new roadblocks for asylum-seekers convicted of a variety of crimes.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco said the rule “sweeps too broadly” and was unnecessary because current federal law already includes a host of disqualifying crimes such as drug trafficking, money laundering and counterfeiting.

Pangea Legal Services, a legal service provider for immigrants, and other non-profits sued after the rule was announced last month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Justice. It was set to take effect Friday.

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The judge issued a temporary restraining order without an expiration date. She scheduled a Dec. 9 hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction.

Illston agreed with the plaintiffs’ contention that the two government agencies exceeded their authority and said the rule was “substantively and procedurally defective.”

The departments of

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