Using exceptionally strong language, Judge Jon S. Tigar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has blocked the Trump Administration from denying the right to seek asylum to persons who cross the southern border between official ports of entry.
Judge Tigar’s court order, issued on November 19, will temporarily prohibit the Trump Administration from enforcing a policy the White House had announced ten days earlier.
The Trump Administration would have prevented immigrants who are entering the U.S. between legal entry ports from requesting asylum status.
WHAT IS THE LAW?
Judge Tigar directly accused the Trump Administration of trying to rewrite the immigration laws. Federal law clearly provides that all persons arriving at any point at the U.S. border have the right to apply for asylum. Not all are eligible for asylum, but all have the right to seek it.
For decades, this nation has recognized the right of asylum as spelled out by federal and international law. Refugees may apply for asylum when they reach the United States, or they may apply for refugee status while they are still outside of the U.S.
“Whatever the scope of the president’s authority,” Judge Tigar wrote, “he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden.”
The judge added that asylum seekers will be at “increased risk of violence and other harms at the border” if the Trump Administration’s plan is allowed to go into effect.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Judge Tigar’s temporary order is effective nationally and will remain operative through December 19th, when Judge Tigar will conduct a hearing, or until further order of the court.
Lee Gelernt, the Deputy Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Immigrants’ Rights Project, told CNN, “There is no justifiable reason to flatly deny people the right to apply for asylum, and we cannot send them back to danger based on the manner of their entry.”
HOW CAN YOU LEARN MORE?
If you need to apply for asylum or refugee status in the United States, or if you are an immigrant or an employer and you need to learn more about asylum and the rights of asylum seekers, contact an experienced Las Vegas immigration attorney at once.
A good immigration lawyer can address your concerns and explain how immigration laws apply to your personal situation. If you are seeking asylum status, a work visa, a family visa, or a green card in the United States, a good Las Vegas immigration lawyer can advise and help you.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR ASYLUM STATUS?
If you seek asylum status in the United States, you must meet these three requirements:
- You must demonstrate that you reasonably fear persecution in your home country.
- You must prove that you would be persecuted based on your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or particular social group.
- You must prove that your home country’s government is either actively engaged in the persecution or unable to control the actions of those who are.
As we approach the end of 2018, U.S. immigration law has probably never been more confusing.
HOW CAN AN IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY HELP YOU?
A number of federal courts are now considering a number of cases generated by the Trump Administration’s policies, and there is no way to know what Congress, the White House, or the Supreme Court may do in the immediate weeks and months ahead.
It’s a rapidly changing situation. If you need help sorting out the confusion, reliable legal advice, or legal help with any aspect of immigration, contact an experienced Las Vegas immigration attorney right away.