Washington (CNN)A federal appeals court on Friday night temporarily put on hold a federal judge's order blocking the Trump administration's policy to return some asylum seekers to Mexico during their immigration proceedings.
Appeals court puts hold on order blocking policy that forces some asylum seekers to remain in Mexico
The order on sending asylum seekers back to Mexico was slated to go into effect Friday.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals put the order on hold while it considers the government's emergency motion appealing Judge Richard Seeborg's preliminary injunction.
The three-judge panel -- made up of two judges appointed by Democratic presidents and one appointed by a Republican -- considering the case for the 9th Circuit has asked for the groups that filed a lawsuit to block the policy to file a brief by Tuesday, and the government can file its reply by 12 p.m. ET Wednesday.
The Migrant Protection Protocols program, informally known as "Remain in Mexico," was initially rolled out at the San Ysidro port of entry in January. Up to 400 people have been returned to Mexico under the policy, according to a Department of Homeland Security official.
Seeborg's preliminary injunction halting the policy was a major blow to then-outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. She recently ordered that the policy be expanded along the southern border in an attempt to stem the flow of migrants to the border.