Federal judges in New York, Texas, and California sided against two of the Trump administration’s key immigration initiatives Friday, the latest in a series of lower court rulings against the president’s push for new physical and administrative barriers to migrants.
In El Paso, the court ruled the Trump administration’s attempt to reprogram military funds for the construction of border fencing was a violation of appropriation laws, a decision that could freeze work on the barrier in that area.
And in separate rulings in New York, California, and Washington state, judges partly blocked the implementation of the ‘‘public charge’’ rule that aimed to disqualify immigrants from receiving green cards if they use public benefits or if the government considers them likely to do so.
The decisions were the latest setbacks to the administration’s broader attempt to tighten the legal immigration system at the same time the president is seeking to erect hundreds of miles of towering steel barriers along the Mexico border using billions of dollars diverted from military budgets.
In the western district of Texas, US Judge David Briones sided with the plaintiffs — El Paso County and the Border Network for Human Rights — and gave them 10 days to file a proposal for a preliminary injunction. Briones, a Clinton appointee, denied the Trump administration’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which was filed in April.
The decision Friday is the first instance of a local jurisdiction successfully suing to block construction of Trump’s border barrier. El Paso County authorities argued it would inflict harm to the local community’s reputation by creating an impression the city is dangerous and unwelcoming.