The White House on Wednesday accused a federal judge of inflicting her personal preference for “open borders” on the rest of the country after she blocked the administration’s new migrant-detention policy.
U.S. District judge Marsha Pechman ruled Tuesday that the administration must allow asylum-seekers the opportunity to post bond and be released from detention while waiting for their claims to be adjudicated.
“The district court’s injunction is at war with the rule of law,” newly appointed White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said. “The decision only incentivizes smugglers and traffickers, which will lead to the further overwhelming of our immigration system by illegal aliens. No single district judge has legitimate authority to impose his or her open-borders views on the country.”
“We must restore our democracy and ensure Americans have the voice to which they are entitled under our Constitution,” she added.
Pechman issued a nationwide injunction blocking Attorney General William Barr’s directive to federal law-enforcement authorities to detain migrants until their asylum hearings, which, under the current system, some 90 percent of migrants fail to show up for.
“The court finds that plaintiffs have established a constitutionally-protected interest in their liberty, a right to due process which includes a hearing before a neutral decision-maker to assess the necessity of their detention, and a likelihood of success on the merits of that issue,” Pechman’s decision reads.
Federal judges have resorted to nationwide injunctions to block Trump administration policies on 37 occasions since the president took office, ten more such injunctions than were issued throughout the entire 20th century, according to the Department of Justice.
The administration will likely appeal Pechman’s decision to the Ninth Circuit.