Just As I Said — TRO Entered. Trump’s “Asylum Thwarting Rule” Enjoined Nationwide, By USDC Judge Jon S. Tigar

Now — a full two days early, by my lights — we have the able USDC Judge Jon S. Tigar’s cogent 45 page TRO opinion. It is a devastatingly thorough and logical dis-assembly of Trump’s irrational, racist “rule”. Trump loses.

Humanity wins. The rule of law. . . wins. Here’s a bit — and the full 45 pager:

. . . .First, Congress has already created a bar to asylum for an applicant who may be removed to a “safe third country.” The safe third country bar requires a third country’s formal agreement to accept refugees and process their claims pursuant to safeguards negotiated with the United States. As part of that process, the United States must determine that (1) the alien’s life or freedom would not be threatened on account of a protected characteristic if removed to that third country and (2) the alien would have access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent temporary protection there. Thus, Congress has ensured that the United States will remove an asylum applicant to a third country only if that country would be safe for the applicant and the country provides equivalent asylum protections to those offered here. The Rule provides none of these protections.

Congress has also enacted a firm resettlement bar, pursuant to which asylum is unavailable to an alien who was firmly resettled in another country prior to arriving in the United States. Before this bar can be applied, however, the government must make individualized determinations that an asylum applicant received an offer of some type of permanent resettlement in a country where the applicant’s stay and ties are not too tenuous, or the conditions of his or her residence too restricted, for him or her to be firmly resettled. Again, the Rule ignores these requirements. . . .

The Court notes one additional equitable consideration suggested by the administrative record. The administrative record contains evidence that the government has implemented a metering policy that “force[s] migrants to wait weeks or months before they can step onto US soil and exercise their right to claim asylum.” AR 686. At the same time, the record also indicates that Mexico requires refugees seeking protection to file claims within 30 days of entering the country. AR 703. For asylum seekers that forfeited their ability to seek protection in Mexico but fell victim to the government’s metering policy, the equities weigh particularly strongly in favor of enjoining a rule that would now disqualify them from asylum on a potentially unlawful basis.

Finally, the government rightly notes that the strains on this country’s immigration system have only increased since the fall of 2018. See 84 Fed. Reg. at 33,831; AR 119, 121, 208-32. The public undoubtedly has a pressing interest in fairly and promptly addressing both the harms to asylum applicants and the administrative burdens imposed by the influx of persons seeking asylum. But short-cutting the law, or weakening the boundary between Congress and the Executive, are not the solutions to these problems. . . .

Said another way, the “crisis at the border“. . . is a direct result of Trump’s prior slow-walk metering policy.

And said more directly. . . he loses, again. Told ‘ya. G’night.


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