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Innovation Law Lab, et al. v. McAleenan, et al.

The Trump administration violated its obligations under both U.S. and international law when it instituted a policy forcing asylum seekers to return to Mexico to wait for their hearings in immigration court. The SPLC and its allies filed a federal lawsuit to end the policy.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, describes how the new policy subjects asylum seekers to perilous conditions that make it difficult, if not impossible, to prepare their cases. The complaint cites violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the United States’ duty under customary international law not to return people to countries where they risk persecution or torture.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 11 individual asylum seekers who were forcibly returned to Mexico, as well as six organizations that advocate on behalf of asylum seekers and other immigrants. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies joined the SPLC in filing the lawsuit.