US: Court: Asylum ban doesn't apply to potentially tens of thousands of migrants - - PressFrom - US
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US Court: Asylum ban doesn't apply to potentially tens of thousands of migrants

05:47  20 november  2019
05:47  20 november  2019 Source:   sandiegouniontribune.com

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Thousands of migrants who agreed to wait in Mexico for their asylum hearings in the United States are now finding out they may not be eligible for The guidance issued after the court ’s September ruling, first obtained by Reuters, tells judges that the ban now applies to “all asylum applications filed

“(These) asylum seekers understood their access to asylum in the United States to be premised on Over time, they have been overseen by Mexican federal, state and local officials, Mexican migrant The partial asylum ban was on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court decided Sept. 11 that it could take

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego federal judge on Tuesday ruled that the Trump administration’s so-called asylum ban does not apply to migrants who had already been waiting in line in Mexican border cities for their official chance to ask for protections in the U.S. when the policy took effect in mid-July.

a group of people posing for the camera: A group of migrants that were requesting asylum are returned to Mexico at El Chaparral port of entry in Tijuana.© Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS A group of migrants that were requesting asylum are returned to Mexico at El Chaparral port of entry in Tijuana.

The preliminary injunction affects potentially tens of thousands of migrants and will give them a chance to have their asylum claims heard.

In issuing the order, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant emphasized she was not being asked to rule on the legality of the asylum ban — that question is being handled in other lawsuits — nor was she being asked to make determinations as to the merits of asylum claims. Rather, this was a question of whether the government was applying its own policy correctly.

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The rules issued by the Trump administration in July apply to most migrants who pass through another country before reaching the United States. They target tens of thousands of Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty who travel through Mexico each month to seek asylum in the U.S. and would

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Trump administration to enforce new rules that bar Instead, migrants will either have to apply for another form of relief in the United States — with a Mexico is already playing host to tens of thousands of migrants awaiting their asylum hearings in

In a strongly worded opinion, she concluded the administration had gotten it wrong.

The third-country asylum ban requires non-Mexican asylum seekers to first apply for protection in other countries that they passed through, such as Mexico. If they are denied, only then can they apply for asylum in the U.S.

In Mexico, migrants must apply for asylum within 30 days of arriving in the country.

When the policy went into effect on July 16, it clashed with another government policy, called “metering,” in which only a set number of asylum seekers are accepted formally into the U.S. on any given day. Typically, when asylum seekers arrive at the border, they are told to get on a waitlist that is managed by various organizations in Mexico.

The wait can take several weeks, even months.

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"Our asylum system is broken, and it is being abused by tens of thousands of meritless claims More than 2,000 Central American migrants arrived in the border city of Tijuana in recent days, and "There is no justifiable reason to flatly deny people the right to apply for asylum , and we cannot send

The administration argued that caravans of migrants approaching the southern border made the new In limiting asylum , Trump used the same powers he used to impose a travel ban — the third try "Our asylum system is broken, and it is being abused by tens of thousands of meritless claims

Suddenly, migrants who’d been turned back to wait under the U.S. “metering” policy were told that they were no longer eligible to be heard. For many, the 30-day window to apply for asylum in Mexico had already passed.

The judge said the asylum seekers relied on the government’s representations that if they returned and waited in Mexico as instructed, they would eventually have an opportunity to make a claim in the U.S. But then later holding those migrants ineligible due to the asylum ban represents “a shift that can be considered, at best, misleading, and at worst, duplicitous,” Bashant said.

Attorneys for the government had argued that the asylum ban applies to all those who are arriving to the U.S. — officially entering the port of entry’s turnstiles — not those waiting in Mexico. But Bashant had already rejected that interpretation of “arriving” in an earlier order.

Instead, those who present themselves to border authorities even if they are turned away and told to wait should be considered in the process of arriving. Therefore, someone who arrived at the border in June but whose name was not called up on the list for entry into the U.S. until August should not be limited by the asylum ban, according to the preliminary injunction.

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Tens of thousands of Central American migrant families cross the border each month, many claiming asylum . Border facilities have been dangerously cramped and crowded well beyond capacity. The Department of Homeland Security’s watchdog found fetid, filthy conditions for many children.

In recent years, tens of thousands of immigrants each year have shown up in the Arizona desert or on the north bank of the Rio Grande in Texas, surrendered to DHS has said it wants asylum seekers at the southern border to appear at an official border crossing. But many border crossings such as San

“The wording of the Asylum Ban is clear. … The Government’s position that the Asylum Ban applies to those who attempted to enter or arrived at the southern border seeking asylum before July 16, 2019, contradicts the plain text of their own regulation,” the judge wrote.

Bashant on Tuesday also provisionally certified a class to which the preliminary injunction applies: “All non-Mexican asylum-seekers who were unable to make a direct asylum claim at a U.S. (port of entry) before July 16, 2019, because of the Government’s metering policy, and who continue to seek access to the U.S. asylum process.”

It’s unclear exactly how many people are eligible for relief.

As of August, weeks after the asylum ban took effect, there were roughly 26,000 asylum seekers either on waitlists or waiting to get on those waitlists in 12 Mexican border cities, according to the migrant advocates who brought the case — Al Otro Lado, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for Constitutional Rights.

In Tijuana, there were about 9,000 names on the list in mid-July, according to Al Otro Lado, which keeps close track.

The preliminary injunction is part of a broader lawsuit that accuses the government of unlawfully restricting access to the asylum system. The government has pointed to the crush of asylum seekers in recent years and an inability to handle them all at the same time with the current resources.

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