Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, told reporters that he was frustrated by the judge's decision. Asylum-seekers coming here are often every bit as much in danger in countries that they transit through as they were in the countries that they fled from.
The number of migrants apprehended at the southwest border dropped for a sixth straight month, with 64,000 people apprehended or turned away at border crossings in August, according to Trump administration officials.
Trump's new rule makes migrants ineligible for asylum if they passed through another country en route to the USA and failed to apply for protection in that country. "And they've done a fantastic job, so we appreciate that very much". There are about 19,000 people waiting in Mexico to formally request asylum in the U.S.
More than 42,000 migrants have been returned to Mexico under the policy, Morgan said, noting that it was one of the factors driving migration down.
In June, migrants who crossed the Rio Grande near McAllen, TX, surrender to U.S. Border Patrol agents.
While apprehensions dipped, the number of migrants deemed inadmissible at the border rose by over 3,000 from July to August.
Morgan on Monday said the USA has returned 42,000 asylum-seekers since the program began earlier this year but didn't confirm reports that many had been kidnapped, robbed or fallen victim to extortion in Mexico.
The Trump administration on Monday credited Mexico and Central American countries with helping to cut US border arrests by almost 60% from a record high earlier this year, but then lashed out at a federal judge for ruling against a strict anti-asylum policy.
"Sadly, while this ruling removes a major hurdle, far too many obstacles remain, as this administration's war on asylum-seekers appears to know no bounds", Crow added. The idea is that asylum seekers would seek refuge in the first stable country and not instantly flock to the United States. That policy banned most immigrants who pass through another country before reaching the United States from seeking asylum.
The shift reversed decades of US policy in what Trump administration officials said was an attempt to close the gap between an initial asylum screening that most people pass and a final decision on asylum that most people do not win.