A federal judge has blocked U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees from conducting the initial screening for people seeking asylum.
The ruling Monday has dealt a setback to one of the Trump administration’s efforts to rein in asylum. The government argued that designated CBP employees are trained comparably to asylum officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, another agency within the Homeland Security Department. U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon in Washington called that argument “poppycock!” The nationwide injunction will likely have little, if any, immediate impact because the government has effectively suspended asylum during the coronavirus pandemic.