News From the Courts

Posted on: October 2nd, 2019
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Supreme Court Permits Trump Asylum Rule Enforcement

On September 11, 2019, the Supreme Court released a decision allowing the enforcement of the Trump administration’s rule requiring asylum seekers who are passing through a third country in order to reach the United States to apply for asylum with the country through which they pass prior to seeking the relief in the U.S. The rule was written to primarily target individuals from Central America who travel through Mexico in order to seek asylum in the United States.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Justice Sotomayor provided her dissenting opinion, in which she contested the decision enables the Trump administration to once again contradict the longstanding position the United States as a beacon of hope for asylum seekers.

For more information, view the Supreme Court’s decision with Sotomayor’s dissent.

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Trump Administration Backtracks on Ending Deferred Action Relief

On August 7th, USCIS sent out notices to hundreds of people around the country that are the beneficiaries of a discretionary form of relief called “deferred action” that they would no longer have their deferred action status renewed. Among those beneficiaries were a number of children receiving medical treatment for serious illnesses in the US and the publicity surrounding those cases was intense.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit contesting the legality of the Trump administration’s ending of the Deferred Action program. The ACLU argued that ending this program is not only morally appalling but is also illegal.

That was followed by a hearing by the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on the impact of ending the program.  Some of the young beneficiaries of the program testified along with one of their doctors.

In a rare instance of immigration policy reversal, the Trump administration announced it would reinstate the Deferred Action program amidst public backlash and the previously mentioned lawsuit. USCIS announced that as a result of the reinstatement, the agency will reopen the more than 400 petitions it denied this summer and that it would resume consideration of new cases.

For more information, view the suit from the ACLU, and the full article from CBS News.

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