WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 12, 2019 – In an unsigned order, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) lifted the nationwide injunction put in place on the Trump administration’s “Asylum Ban 2.0.” The ban blocks anyone from seeking asylum at the southern border who had not sought protection in another country through which they transited. Once implemented the ban will put in place restrictions that would prevent thousands of otherwise eligible asylum seekers from applying for protection.
Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) remarked, “By lifting this nationwide injunction in East Bay v. Barr, the Supreme Court’s decision is putting the lives of asylum seekers at risk as this legal challenge continues to move forward in the lower courts. These vulnerable migrants are already at risk due to numerous other policies designed to prevent them from accessing the protections established in U.S. law. This rule denies people a meaningful chance to seek asylum, putting the lives of asylum seekers back in the hands of their persecutors, including transnational gangs and cartels. Blocking those who seek protection at our borders is contrary to American laws and is not the way to ensure asylum seekers are processed fairly and efficiently. The U.S. government should stop endangering vulnerable people and should implement the commonsense steps recommended by AILA.”
AILA recommends implementing the following to improve the speed and fairness of the asylum process:
- Deploy more trained USCIS asylum officers to conduct credible fear interviews so cases that are clearly ineligible can be separated quickly from those who have valid claims. Suspend plans to have Customs and Border Protection officers from conducting those interview.
- Allow asylum officers to grant asylum to clearly eligible border arrivals.
- Use alternatives to detention to ensure asylum seekers appear for hearings while reducing the exorbitant and unnecessary costs of detention. Alternatives to detention like the DHS Family Case Management Program have a near perfect – 99 percent – appearance rate.
- Restore judges’ authority and independence to manage their dockets to increase immigration court efficiency and ensure balanced, fair decisions.
- Provide lawyers to migrants, which immigration judges agree will increase efficiency.
- Invest resources to improve conditions in Central American countries from which so many are fleeing persecution.
- Partner with other countries to create a robust humanitarian program to protect asylum seekers in the region and ameliorate the need for them to travel thousands of miles to the U.S.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is the national association of more than 15,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. www.AILA.org