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SPLC: Decisions a Major Blow to Trump Administration War on Asylum

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued the following statement by Melissa Crow, senior supervising attorney with the SPLC’s Immigrant Justice Project, on two immigration decisions by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today. These decisions affirmed and restored the district court’s preliminary injunction blocking the “Remain in Mexico” policy and affirmed the district court’s preliminary injunction blocking a rule that would have made people who cross the border between ports of entry ineligible for asylum.
 
“Today’s rulings are a huge setback for the Trump administration’s war on asylum seekers. Since taking office, this administration has enacted policy after policy aimed at eviscerating the legal rights of people seeking asylum and creating the harshest conditions possible for them. These two decisions, which effectively block the “Remain in Mexico” policy and the first asylum ban, are important victories for migrants simply attempting to exercise their legal rights to seek protection in the United States. 
 
“These decisions are critically important to the tens of thousands of vulnerable migrants from all over the world who have been trapped in Mexico – making it nearly impossible for them to exercise their legal rights, and those who are forced to cross the border between ports of entry due to the government’s metering policy, among other factors. They also represent important steps in addressing the U.S. government-created humanitarian crisis that has resulted from these policies.” 
 
Background:
 
The Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies filed a lawsuit, Innovation Law Lab v. Wolf, challenging the “Remain in Mexico” policy. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of individual asylum seekers forcibly returned to Mexico and the following organizations: Innovation Law Lab, Al Otro Lado, the Central American Resource Center of Northern California, Centro Legal de la Raza, the University of San Francisco School of Law Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic, and the Tahirih Justice Center. Today’s ruling in this case can be viewed here.
 
The Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a lawsuit, East Bay Sanctuary v. Trump, challenging the policy which rendered migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border between ports of entry ineligible for asylum. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of immigrant advocacy organizations East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Al Otro Lado, Innovation Law Lab, and Central American Resource Center. Today’s ruling in this case can be viewed here