Court Battles

ACLU says it will ‘sue swiftly’ over Trump administration ending asylum protections

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Monday promised to sue the Trump administration over a new rule that would end asylum protections for most migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“The Trump administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country’s legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger,” Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the ACLU, said in a statement.

“This new rule is patently unlawful and we will sue swiftly.”

{mosads}The departments of Justice and Homeland Security announced a rule that would make asylum-seekers who pass through another country before reaching the U.S. ineligible for asylum.

There are exceptions in the rule for those who have been the victims of trafficking. It also allows exceptions for migrants passing through countries that have not signed major international refugee treaties and for migrants who have been denied asylum in the countries they traveled through.

The rule would primarily affect Central Americans who enter or arrive in the U.S. on or after the rule’s effective date.

The announcement is the latest of several efforts by the Trump administration to tighten asylum rules at the border, all of which have been met with legal challenges.

Attorney General William Barr issued an order earlier this year that would allow for certain asylum-seekers to be detained indefinitely during immigration proceedings.

A federal judge in Seattle struck down that rule, finding it unconstitutional. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is now hearing briefings on the appeal of the order.

The administration also implemented a policy earlier this year that requires some asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico while their cases are processed. 

A district judge in California initially ruled against the policy and blocked it from going into effect, but the 9th Circuit has since allowed it to be enforced during the appeals process.

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