Federal Judge Overturns Trump Policy on Immigrants Claiming Asylum

Posted on 07/06/20

On Tuesday, a United States federal judge sided against the Trump administration’s strictest immigration policy to date. The rule, that was first enacted by President Trump back in 2019 would prohibit immigrants from claiming asylum in The United States if they first didn’t apply in a country they traveled through first on their way to the United States border. The rule, known as the “third-country asylum rule” violated the Immigration and Nationality Act. Judge Timothy Kellly, a federal judge in Washington D.C. sided with asylum seekers and immigrant non-profits against the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security rule.

Notably, Judge Kelley was appointed by President Trump back in 2017 and agreed that the administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which requires the American public enough time to weigh in on such rule changes. The immigration and nationality act would generally allow most immigrants who make it to U.S. soil to apply for asylum, with some exceptions. “There are many circumstances in which courts appropriately defer to the national security judgments of the Executive,” Kelly wrote. “But determining the scope of an APA exception is not one of them.” This comes as the United States Supreme court blocked an earlier injunction by the administration, which was later affirmed by the ninth circuit court of appeals.

An attorney for the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, which represented the plaintiffs in the case against the Trump administration applauded the judge’s decision. “The court recognized that the Trump administration unlawfully skipped steps mandated by Congress to ensure transparency in its failed attempt to make an end-run around asylum protections,” said Julie Veroff.

The court’s decision comes on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Obama era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA allows nearly 800,000 “dreamers” who traveled to the United States while they were minors exemption from deportation. The Trump administration’s strictest immigration policies to date have swiftly been enacted using the veil of the coronavirus, and economic uncertainty.

Trump’s third country rule seemed to be aimed at migrants traveling through the U.S. and Mexico border. The rule targets the so-called “caravans” and migrants fleeing gang violence. The rule forces migrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala to first seek asylum in Mexico. Such actions by the Trump administration are not only illegal but violate basic national and international human rights laws. The actions targeted against migrants from predominantly impoverished nations go against the very standards of what makes America so great in the first place. The land of opportunity was built on immigrants, and we must cherish the diverse culture of our society. Continued threats against immigrants, go against American ideals, and the failure to acknowledge such will be detrimental.

Last week, three detention facilities that house migrant children were ordered to release migrants by a federal judge in Los Angeles. The continued threat by the Trump administration on asylum seekers saw some light as the Trump administration won a Supreme Court ruling allowing fast tracking decorations for asylum seekers.

What Are My Rights as an Immigrant?

Due to misconceptions and misguided assumptions, many people think that undocumented immigrants do not have rights or protections under the law. This could not be further from the truth. The United States Constitution extends legal protections to all individuals residing within the borders of the U.S., which includes undocumented immigrants.

Start a Case Review with a Connecticut Immigration Lawyer

The best way to assert your rights as an undocumented immigrant in Connecticut is by retaining the help of an attorney with a thorough understanding of immigration law at the Law Offices of James A. Welcome. We know your rights and can provide you with effective legal representation after you have not been treated with the protection you deserve. We know what is on the line and can help you through the process of asserting your constitutional rights. Reach out today.