In a win for the Biden administration, a federal appeals court ruled that new asylum rules can be enforced while litigation continues over the policy. The 2-1 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit blocked a lower court decision that would have barred the administration from enforcing the policy, the Wall Street Journal reports. The policy generally requires migrants coming to the U.S. border to have asked for protection in another country and have been denied in order to be eligible to ask for asylum in the U.S. The administration adopted the new policy after the expiration of Title 42. The new Biden policy closely resembles a measure used by the Trump administration.
Immigration lawyers and advocates have argued that because most Latin American countries have either fledgling or nonexistent asylum protocols, the rule is nearly impossible for migrants to follow, rendering the policy an asylum ban for most migrants caught crossing the border illegally into the U.S. In a dissent to Thursday’s ruling, Judge Lawrence VanDyke said the Biden version of the asylum rule was nearly identical to the one proposed by the Trump administration and blocked by both a lower court judge and later the Ninth Circuit. Under the current rules, migrants need to use a cellphone app to apply for an appointment to request asylum at a legal border crossing. VanDyke criticized his colleagues for not following the appeals court’s previous ruling during the Trump administration. In June, the first full month after the rule was implemented, arrests dropped significantly along the border.