Judge blocks Trump Administration from enforcing new asylum restrictions

SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge in San Francisco granted a preliminary injunction Wednesday afternoon that blocks the Trump Administration from enforcing new asylum restrictions.

The decision comes hours after a judge in Washington ruled against a separate injunction.

The Trump administration wanted to bar asylum seekers who pass through another country first, from seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border unless they first seek asylum through another country they passed through.

The San Francisco judge said the rule is "likely invalid because it is inconsistent with the existing asylum laws" enacted by Congress.

RELATED: ICE releases US-born citizen wrongfully detained near border for 3 weeks

A group of protesters gathered outside the Federal Courthouse in San Francisco this morning to speak out against the Trump Administration's Asylum Transit Ban.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in a statement last week that those who are truly facing persecution should apply for refuge in the first safe place they reach, not the most desirable destination. He doesn't want people to exploit American generosity.

Protesters say they should be able to seek asylum where they choose.

"We know that asylum seekers have to seek asylum in a third country in this particular case Central Americans seeking asylum in Mexico. Even the President has made comments that Mexico is dangerous, has rapists and murderers and whatever else he says and so he is contradicting himself in implementing this rule," said Edwin Carmona-Cruz, the Director of Public Engagement at Pangea Legal Services.

Activists want to stop the ban as soon as possible and are hoping a federal judge today will issue a temporary restraining order.

RELATED: Trump moves to end asylum protections for Central Americans

"It's heartbreaking, it's frustrating, These are vulnerable asylum seekers, people fleeing violence, fleeing for their lives. These are more than political tokens, these are lives we are talking about. This is incredibly frustrating that families have to get another obstacle on top of another obstacle to seek refuge and safety in the US because of all these rules," Carmona-Cruz said.

Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.