…… Trump delivering refugees into the hands of their persecutors….
San Francisco, CA – Earlier this week, the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) filed an amicus brief in East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Barr, the lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s most far-reaching attempt to slam the door on asylum seekers, the third country asylum rule. Dubbed “asylum ban 2.0” by advocates, this rule denies asylum to those who seek protection at our southern border if they do not first apply in a third country en route to the United States, all but eviscerating the U.S. asylum system.
CGRS was joined in its brief by dozens of national and regional organizations, States, UNHCR as well as law school clinics that advocate for asylum seekers in the region.
Other high-profile amicus parties urged the court to do the same, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees,(UNHCR) former government officials, and a union representing hundreds of asylum officers who have seen firsthand the damage wrought by the ban.
Together they called on the Ninth Circuit to uphold the district court’s preliminary ruling in East Bay, blocking this inhumane and patently unlawful policy from taking effect.
“The Administration’s latest asylum ban places refugees directly in harm’s way and violates the United States’ longstanding obligations to protect the persecuted,” CGRS Co-Legal Director Blaine Bookey said today. “We’re hopeful that the court will see this policy for what it is – a blatant and unlawful attempt by the Administration to rewrite U.S. law and defy the will of Congress by decree.”
The court of appeals is scheduled to hear arguments in early December.
Note the following States which have filed:
READ BRIEF HERE.
From the States Amicus Brief:
Giving asylum seekers a safe haven from persecution is an essential value of the United States. In adopting the Refugee Act of 1980, which established the present asylum system, Congress codified “one of the oldest themes in America’s history—welcoming homeless refugees to our shores.” S. Rep. No. 96-256, at 1 (1979), as reprinted in 1980 U.S.C.C.A.N. 141, 141. In departing from these core principles, the Rule inflicts unnecessary peril and trauma on asylum seekers during every step of their pursuit of protection, forcing them to either: (1) go through a fruitless asylum process in a potentially dangerous third country to remain eligible for asylum in the United States; (2) forego the process in a third country and apply for protection in the United States that will likely be denied, thus risking deportation back to persecution; or (3) try to enter the United States undetected through a dangerous trek and reside here without legal status.
The district court correctly recognized the public interest at stake here, finding that the prospect of the United States “delivering aliens into the hands of their persecutors” was reason to enjoin Defendants’ actions. E. Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Barr, No. 3:19-cv- 04073-JST, 2019 WL 3323095, at *2 (N.D. Cal. July 24, 2019) (quoting Leiva- Perez v. Holder, 640 F.3d 962, 971 (9th Cir. 2011) (per curiam)).
BY MELANIE NATHAN