Daniel Trotta, Reuters, September 20, 2019
More than 125 migrant mothers and children have sued the U.S. government, claiming the Trump administration has violated the rights of asylum-seekers through the arbitrary and capricious implementation of a virtual asylum ban at the southern border.
The lawsuit, filed late on Monday, was the first to challenge President Donald Trump over asylum since the U.S. Supreme Court decided last week that an anti-asylum rule will be allowed to take effect while a separate lawsuit on its underlying legality is heard.
Unlike other suits that have targeted the asylum rule itself, the latest filing challenges the Trump administration on procedural grounds, saying the government has enacted changes without warning, resulting in elevated rejection rates for asylum-seekers.
Trump’s virtual asylum ban at the southern border denies migrants if they did not first seek safe haven in another country that they traveled through on the way to the United States, such as Mexico or Guatemala.
As a result, immigration judges can reject asylum claims, regardless of their merits, if the applicant did not first seek asylum in another country.