The Trump administration has weaponized the immigration court system to serve its anti-immigrant agenda. Categorizing people fleeing persecution as “invaders,” the government is using the immigration courts to target the asylum system and vulnerable migrants instead of lawfully adjudicating the merits of their claims. In essence, the government has created an adjudication system where applicants for asylum are supposed to lose. The SPLC, in cooperation with Innovation Law Lab, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the pervasive dysfunctionality of the immigration court system.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Oregon, charges that the administration is violating the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the U.S. Constitution’s Take Care Clause. It was filed on behalf of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, the Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., Innovation Law Lab, Santa Fe Dreamers Project, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
A report from June 2019 jointly produced by the Innovation Law Lab and the SPLC examines the immigration court system.