Groups sue over asy­lum

Plan de­nies pro­tec­tion to mi­grants who cross Mex­ico bor­der il­le­gally

The Dallas Morning News - - News - Nick Miroff, The Wash­ing­ton Post

WASH­ING­TON — At­tor­neys for the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union and other im­mi­grant ad­vo­cacy groups filed suit Fri­day in the North­ern Dis­trict of Cal­i­for­nia to block the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s plan to deny asy­lum pro­tec­tions to mi­grants who cross the Mex­ico bor­der il­le­gally.

The suit ac­cuses the ad­min­is­tra­tion of at­tempt­ing to vi­o­late the Im­mi­gra­tion and Na­tion­al­ity Act and the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Pro­ce­dure Act, al­leg­ing that Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials have im­prop­erly rushed to im­ple­ment the new re­stric­tions while also as­sert­ing ex­ec­u­tive pow­ers that lie be­yond the scope of what the Supreme Court up­held in its “travel ban” de­ci­sion this year.

The suit came hours af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is­sued a de­cree Fri­day morn­ing that set in mo­tion his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ef­fort to close off asy­lum ben­e­fits for those who en­ter the United States il­le­gally. The mea­sures are to take ef­fect Sat­ur­day.

“The asy­lum ban is not jus­ti­fied by events on the ground, puts lives in dan­ger and is patently un­law­ful,” said Lee Gel­ernt, an ACLU at­tor­ney. “The ad­min­is­tra­tion is fla­grantly ig­nor­ing a fed­eral statute and by­pass­ing the most ba­sic pro­ce­dural re­quire­ments gov­ern­ing the is­suance of new laws.”

Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials have an­tic­i­pated the law­suits, and the pos­si­bil­ity that lower courts will side with the plain­tiffs. The ad­min­is­tra­tion has suf­fered re­peated de­feats in dis­trict courts in Cal­i­for­nia, but ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials view the rul­ings as nec­es­sary hur­dles to reach the Supreme Court, which by a 5­4 vote in June up­held a re­vised ver­sion of the travel ban, which sought to block for­eign­ers from sev­eral Mus­lim­ma­jor­ity na­tions from en­ter­ing the United States.

Un­der the new mea­sures, an­nounced by ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials Thurs­day, Trump seeks to ex­er­cise the same emer­gency au­thor­ity in­voked dur­ing his travel ban of early 2017 to bar any­one cross­ing the Mex­ico bor­der il­le­gally from qual­i­fy­ing for asy­lum.

In his procla­ma­tion, Trump said the mea­sures were nec­es­sary to pre­pare for the ar­rival of thou­sands of Cen­tral Amer­i­cans trav­el­ing in groups through Mex­ico to­ward the U.S. bor­der with what he said was no ap­par­ent “law­ful ba­sis for ad­mis­sion into our coun­try.”

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