September 10, 2019

Good Border News but Bad Bench News

Illegal crossings are significantly down, but an Obama judge undermines Rule of Law again.

Some good news from the border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan reports, “During the month of August, CBP apprehended or deemed inadmissible a total of 64,006 people. For July, that number was 82,055. This represents a decline of approximately 22%. Moreover, the August number reflects a decline of 56% since the May peak, which was a staggering 144,255.” Stemming the flow of illegal border crossers is a key priority for President Donald Trump’s administration, so it’s good to see numbers going in the right direction, even if August’s apprehension numbers are still higher than any other August in over a decade.

Credit for that progress goes in part to ongoing work on border barriers, albeit largely replacing old sections rather than constructing new ones. Credit also goes partly to Mexico and several Central American countries, which have at Trump’s behest made some changes in how asylum-seeking migrants are processed. More change is needed to deal humanely with the vast number of migrants. Many are indeed seeking refuge from terribly violent homes, but many more don’t actually meet any reasonable definition of asylum seeker. In any case, they are also overwhelming the system.

Meanwhile, speaking of asylum, some bad news on the border. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar, an Obama judge ensconced in the sanctuary city of San Francisco, re-issued a nationwide injunction “preventing the Trump administration’s ban on asylum-seekers who travelled through a so-called safe third country before arriving in the U.S.,” reports National Review. Not only is Tigar grossly exceeding his own authority to “check” Trump, he’s giving the middle finger to a higher court. National Review adds that he “issued the ruling after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in August narrowed his previous nationwide injunction, allowing the Trump administration to implement the asylum-rule change in Texas and New Mexico but not in California or Arizona.”

Fortunately, the Ninth Circuit stepped back in to say Tigar’s ruling applies only to the Ninth Circuit area for now.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board is exactly correct in arguing, “Nationwide injunctions are supposed to be an extraordinary remedy, not an automatic resort for plaintiffs who dislike a policy. The Supreme Court needs to step in and define the limits of this increasingly willful judicial intervention.”

The elected branches of government are responsible for securing this nation. Congress has entirely abdicated that responsibility when it comes to immigration (and, frankly, a host of other issues) for transparently political reasons. That leaves President Trump to do what he can. Unfortunately, he’s fighting for secure borders and reasonable Rule of Law immigration policy not only against caravans of migrants seeking to cross the border illegally but against judges who seem hell-bent on asserting their own despotic rule.


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