- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 24, 2019

A federal judge on Wednesday shot down activists’ attempt to halt President Trump’s new stricter asylum policy, allowing the administration to block claims of tens of thousands of people who are part of the migrant surge.

Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee to the court in Washington, ruled the administration can enforce its new policy while the case proceeds for more arguments. He ruled that the activist groups who sued didn’t prove their work would be harmed if the policy remains in effect.

The ruling is a victory for Mr. Trump — though it could be short-lived.

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Another federal judge in California is slated to hold a hearing later Wednesday on the same issue. That judge — an Obama appointee — has already ruled against the president on several immigration matters.

The policy, announced last week, gives the administration the power to refuse to hear asylum claims from migrants who leave their home countries and cross through other countries to reach the U.S., where they make their asylum claims.

Administration officials say if they were valid asylum-seekers, they could stop in any safe country along their journey. The fact that they continue on to the U.S. suggests they’re not refugees, but rather more traditional migrants seeking better jobs or to unite with family.

Activist groups who challenged the policy say U.S. law doesn’t allow the administration to refuse requests in this way.

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