Thursday, June 13, 2024

Groups Sue Biden Administration Over New Asylum Rule

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It was only a matter of time.  Or should I say, "about time."  President Biden's border actions are being challenged in court.  

The ACLU press release states the following:

"Immigrants’ rights groups today sued the Biden administration over the president’s proclamation and a new rule that severely restricts asylum and puts thousands of lives at risk.

The American Civil Liberties Union, National Immigrant Justice Center, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, Jenner & Block LLP, ACLU of the District of Columbia, and Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center (Las Americas) and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES).

President Biden issued the proclamation last week along with an accompanying interim rule issued by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice on the same day. These executive actions will effectively shut off any access to asylum protections for the vast majority of people arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, no matter how strong their claims. The proclamation echoes the Trump administration’s previous asylum entry ban, which immigrants’ rights advocates successfully challenged.

The lawsuit charges the ban, which allows asylum access only for people who can secure a scarce appointment to present themselves at a port of entry or satisfy a very narrow exception, is flatly inconsistent with the asylum statute that Congress enacted, which permits migrants to apply for asylum “whether or not” they enter at a port of entry. In addition to barring asylum for most migrants, the new rules also create potentially insurmountable obstacles for seeking other types of protection.

`We were left with no alternative but to sue. The administration lacks unilateral authority to override Congress and bar asylum based on how one enters the country, a point the courts made crystal clear when the Trump administration unsuccessfully tried a near-identical ban,' said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.


`Nearly 60 years following the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 and more than four decades following the Refugee Act of 1980, our elected officials have reversed the very spirit of the laws that protect the human and legal rights of not only those seeking safety in the U.S. — but all of us. It remains shocking, if no longer surprising, that the same elected officials who promised to restore our commitment to humanitarian protections are more than willing to sacrifice especially Black and Brown lives for political points and personal gain. Let us be clear: We believe the order and interim final rule that the current administration unveiled this past week are unlawful. We know that checks on misuse of power are an essential function of our judicial branch, and we are using every legal tool to hold our government accountable for preserving and restoring access to asylum and refugee protections. The fight for federal protection of our human and legal rights is never born out of our nation’s capital — but instead must always come to it,' said Javier Hidalgo, legal director at RAICES.

`President Biden’s recent executive order flies in the face of our entire asylum system and has no cognizable basis to support it. By doing this, the president has managed to further penalize vulnerable individuals and families seeking protection and violated our laws. We are taking legal action to demonstrate that this flagrant disregard for human safety is illegal, unsustainable, and must be stopped. Asylum is not a loophole but rather a life-saving measure. Access to asylum is a human and legally protected right in the United States,' said Jennifer Babaie, director of advocacy and legal services of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and New Mexico.


The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

The complaint can be found online here."


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