Court Fails to Temporarily Block Administration’s Asylum Ban

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today expressed disappointment with the the United States District Court for the District of Columbia’s decision not to temporarily block the Trump Administration’s new asylum rule, which seeks to bar asylum for individuals who enter or attempt to enter across the southern border, if they did not seek protection from a third country while en route to the United States.

“Asylum saves lives, it’s that simple. While today the court did not act to temporarily block the administration’s dangerous asylum ban, we are confident that ultimately justice will prevail and protect refugees who should never be forced back to violence or persecution. This policy is illegal, immoral, and must be stopped,” said Human Rights First’s Hardy Vieux.

The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (CAIR Coalition), Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), and Hogan Lovells requested a temporary restraining order to prevent the new rule from going into effect while a lawsuit brought by several organizations is ongoing. The case, CAIR Coalition, et al., v. Trump, was filed on July 16, 2019, and charges the administration with violating the U.S Constitution, the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and other federal statutes.

Human Rights First also joined the lawsuit as plaintiff and co-counsel.

The groups issued the following comments on today’s decision:

CAIR Coalition

“We are disappointed in the court’s decision today, but we will continue to fight to ensure that this harmful rule does not unjustly impact children and adults who apply for asylum as well as immigration legal service providers’ ability to help asylum seekers. This new rule is contrary to our laws and we will continue to challenge this attempt to remove asylum eligibly from those who are fleeing violence and persecution around the world,” said Claudia Cubas, CAIR Coalition’s Litigation Director.

Hogan Lovells

“This new rule attempts to create a third-country exception to the presumption of eligibility for asylum, and is likely to prevent most migrants from being able to seek refuge in this country,” said Neal Katyal, partner at Hogan Lovells, which serves as pro bono counsel in the case. Mitchell Reich, another attorney on the Hogan Lovells team, added, “We had hoped to obtain immediate relief from the potentially drastic consequences of this rule, which we firmly believe violates U.S. law and the Constitution. We continue to believe that the merits of this case are very strong and look forward to their resolution in the courts.”


“Many individuals entering our southern border have legitimate claims for asylum in the United States,” said Jonathan Ryan, Executive Director of RAICES. “We are deeply concerned that if this rule goes into effect, migrants seeking refuge from extremely dangerous places will have few options to protect themselves and their families.”

More about CAIR Coalition is here.
More about Hogan Lovells is here.
More about RAICES is here.
More about Human Rights First is here.


Published on July 24, 2019


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