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Judge: COVID asylum restrictions must continue on border

Jaime Rodriguez Sr. / U.S. CBP

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Pandemic-related restrictions on migrants seeking asylum on the southern border must continue, a judge ruled Friday in an order blocking the Biden administration’s plan to lift them early next week. 

The ruling was just the latest instance of a court derailing the president’s proposed immigration policies along the U.S. border with Mexico. 

The Justice Department said the administration will appeal, but the ruling virtually ensures that restrictions will not end as planned on Monday.

A delay would be a blow to advocates who say rights to seek asylum are being trampled, and a relief to some Democrats who fear that a widely anticipated increase in illegal crossings would put them on the defensive in an already difficult midterm election year. 

In Tijuana, Mexico, Yesivet Evangelina Aguilar, 34, cupped her face in her hands and sobbed when she learned of the decision from an Associated Press reporter.

“I feel like there is no hope left,” said Aguilar, who fled the Mexican state of Guerrero nearly a year ago after her brother was killed.

“It feels so bad.”

Aguilar was blocked by U.S. authorities from applying for asylum when she and her 10-year-old daughter went to the Tijuana-San Diego port of entry nine months ago.

On Friday, she was lying in a tent at a Tijuana shelter where scores of migrants are camped.

Some have been there for months or years.

Aguilar’s life in waiting has been not only tedious but dangerous.

On Thursday night, a fellow migrant was shot in the neck by a stray bullet from a shootout outside the shelter.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

The Associated Press

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