On September 11, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a request by the Trump administration to enforce a new rule that denies asylum to nearly all immigrants who travel through another country without first seeking safe haven there before reaching the U.S.-Mexico border. This rule prevents most Central American immigrants from seeking asylum in the United States.
When new asylum policy became effective in July, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar (California) blocked it by issuing a nationwide injunction. However, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals curtailed the injunction, which resulted in the rule only applying in Texas and New Mexico, rather than California and Arizona.
Tigar issued a new order on Monday, September 9, that once again blocked the nationwide policy. Then on Tuesday, September 10, the 9th Circuit scaled back the injunction before the high court allowed the new rule to remain in place until the court case determines the underlying legality of the policy.
Immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala seeking asylum must first pass a “credible fear” interview. However, they would fail the test if they didn’t seek asylum in at least one country they traveled through and were denied. Denial results in expedited removal proceedings and even receiving a flight to the asylum seeker’s home country on behalf of the federal government.