Three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit wrestled with the complexities of federal asylum law Wednesday as they considered whether to extend an emergency stay of a lower court ruling blocking a Trump Administration policy to force asylum seekers from Central America to wait in Mexico for their cases to be heard.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg blocked the Trump administration’s “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP) on April 8, finding that policies were not authorized by Congress under the Immigration and Nationality Act and even had they been, they didn’t meet the government’s obligation to avoid returning any alien to a territory where his or her “life or freedom would be threatened.”

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