U.S. court rules in favour of asylum seekers, against Trump policy

By Tom Hals (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Wednesday struck down Trump administration policies aimed at restricting asylum claims by people citing gang or domestic violence in their home countries and ordered the U.S.

Reuters December 20, 2018 07:05:49 IST
U.S. court rules in favour of asylum seekers, against Trump policy

US court rules in favour of asylum seekers against Trump policy

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Wednesday struck down Trump administration policies aimed at restricting asylum claims by people citing gang or domestic violence in their home countries and ordered the U.S. government to bring back six deported migrants to reconsider their cases.

The ruling is the latest legal setback for the White House on immigration. Last month, a judge in San Francisco ordered a halt to a policy that prevented those entering illegally from Mexico from seeking asylum.

The policy at the centre Wednesday's ruling sought to limit the ability of immigrants to fight expedited deportation by narrowing the grounds for claiming "credible fear" if they returned home, the first step in a long asylum process.

The policy was challenged in a District of Columbia lawsuit brought by a dozen adults and children. U.S. Judge Emmet Sullivan said in a 107-page opinion the policy violated both immigration and administrative law.

"And because it is the will of Congress - not the whims of the executive - that determines the standard for expedited removal, the court finds that those policies are unlawful," Sullivan wrote.

In a statement, the Department of Justice said administration policies sought to follow Congress' requirement that asylum be limited to those with a fear of persecution based on their race, nationality, religion, political opinion or membership in a social group.

The DOJ filed a request to stay the court's orders while the government appealed. Sullivan had not responded to that request.

Sullivan, an appointee of U.S. President Bill Clinton, made headlines on Tuesday for his fierce criticism of Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, for lying to FBI agents.

For the last three months of 2017, the most recent numbers, the government conducted about 6,000 credible fear interviews monthly. The vast majority passed those interviews, allowing them to make their case for asylum in front of a U.S. immigration judge.

Jennifer Chang Newell, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing the asylum seekers, said the ruling "is a defeat for the Trump administration’s all-out assault on the rights of asylum seekers."

The ruling clears the way for four mothers and two children to be returned to the United States, she said.

The administration has said that the asylum process is being abused by people who have frivolous claims but are able to stay in the country while their cases are being decided.

In a separate case, U.S. District Judge John Tigar in San Francisco on Wednesday extended his previous order that blocked Trump's policy to bar those entering illegally from Mexico from seeking asylum.

The preliminary injunction ordered by Tigar will remain in place while the litigation unfolds, unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes.

Illegal crossings at the southern border have dropped dramatically since the late 1970s. But in recent years, applications for asylum have ballooned, and more Central American families and unaccompanied children are migrating to the United States.

On Tuesday, the United States committed billions of dollars towards development in Central America and Mexico as part of a plan to curb illegal immigration.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Additional reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Oil rises 2% as OPEC complies with production cuts
Business

Oil rises 2% as OPEC complies with production cuts

By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday, as OPEC and its allies were seen complying with a pact to cut oil supply in September, even as concerns loomed that recovery in fuel demand will be stalled by soaring global coronavirus cases. Early in the day crude was boosted by a bullish stock market. Even as equities whipsawed on pandemic worries, oil stayed higher, buoyed by expectations that OPEC could staunch a supply glut

Tesla's back-to-back price cuts bring sticker on U.S. Model S below $70,000
Business

Tesla's back-to-back price cuts bring sticker on U.S. Model S below $70,000

By Tina Bellon and C Nivedita (Reuters) - Tesla Inc will further cut the price of its Model S "Long Range" sedan in the United States to $69,420, the electric carmaker's chief executive, Elon Musk, announced in a tweet https://bit.ly/2H0JCP0 on Wednesday. The anticipated drop marks the second time this week Tesla has cut the price for the high-end sedan, following a 4% cut of the Model S's price in the United States on Tuesday to $71,990.

Trump cites teenaged son's bout with coronavirus in calling for schools to reopen
World

Trump cites teenaged son's bout with coronavirus in calling for schools to reopen

By Jeff Mason DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Under siege over his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited what he said was his son's mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible. Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, as the president swept into Iowa on a mission to shore up support in battleground states that he won in 2016 but is in danger of losing to Democrat Joe Biden barely three weeks before the election. First lady Melania Trump announced in a statement earlier in the day that the virus that struck both her and her husband had also infected their 14-year-old son