Nov. 28 (UPI) -- The Justice Department has challenged a San Francisco judge who blocked enforcement of a new restriction on asylum for migrants -- lift the restraining order or a higher court will block it.
U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar issued the temporary restraining order that bars the Trump administration from enforcing its requirement that migrants seeking asylum present themselves at legal ports of entry. The proclamation from President Donald Trump said migrants that cross illegally do not qualify for asylum. Nearly 400,000 immigrants have been detained in the past year after crossing illegally.
In a court filing, Justice Department attorneys said the judge's action was legally flawed and "jeopardizes important national interests." Tigar has until Wednesday to grant a stay on the injunction.
Government attorneys cautioned Tigar that if he doesn't go back on his ruling, a higher court will.
Tigar argued that Trump's order violates existing federal law.
"He may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden," Tigar wrote in his opinion last week.
It can take a month or more for immigrants to apply for asylum in the United States at official ports of entry.
The Trump administration says the new order encourages asylum seekers to cross legally rather than attempt a dangerous illegal crossing. A mad rush of migrants over the weekend caused panic at one point along the border, where some migrants said they were hit with tear gas from U.S. border patrol agents.
Trump, who called Tigar an "Obama judge," has previously threatened to close the border altogether, if necessary.
"We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges," he said. "What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them."