A US federal judge has blocked an order issued by President Donald Trump to deny asylum to migrants crossing the southern US border illegally. US District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco issued the temporary restraining order after hearing arguments by civil rights groups.
Trump signed the order earlier this month in response to the migrant caravan moving towards the border. He cited national interest concerns but was opposed by civil rights groups.
Thousands of migrants from across Central America have been travelling north for weeks towards the US-Mexico border. They say they are fleeing persecution, poverty and violence in their home countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
In the run-up to the US mid-term elections, President Trump said many of the migrants were criminals, called the caravan an invasion, and ordered troops to the border. He also repeatedly suggested it was politically motivated.
Judge Tigar, in his ruling, said Trump’s proclamation was an “extreme departure” from prior practice. The judge’s restraining order comes into immediate effect and remains in place until a court hearing in December to decide on the case.