Immigrant rights advocates demand action be taken quickly on policy that forces asylum seekers to remain in Mexico

October 27, 2020 /

Last year the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, and Southern Poverty Law Center challenged the policy that forces asylum seekers to remain in Mexico. 

According to a press release, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of 11 individual asylum seekers forcibly returned to Mexico, and organizational plaintiffs Innovation Law Lab, the Central American Resource Center of Northern California, Centro Legal de la Raza, the University of San Francisco School of Law Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic, Al Otro Lado, and the Tahirih Justice Center.

The case cites violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, as well as the United States’ duty under international human rights law not to return people to dangerous conditions.

In March, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that it is illegal but allowed it to continue until a decision was made by the Supreme Court. 

“It has been over a year since a federal district court struck down the administration’s illegal policy of forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico,” said CGRS Legal Director Blaine Bookey. “Yet thousands of families remain stranded in increasingly perilous conditions, where many have faced brutal violence and homelessness. We will continue the fight to stop this cruelty once and for all.”

Oct 19 the Supreme Court agreed to review the decision that this policy was illegal. 

“Asylum seekers face grave danger every day this illegal and depraved policy is in effect.” Said, Judy Rabinovitz, ACLU attorney and lead counsel in this lawsuit in reaction to the Supreme Court decision. “The courts have repeatedly ruled against it, and the Supreme Court should as well.”

Those involved with the case demand that this is taken care of quickly to help the families in need of asylum. It is not right to keep them in these dangerous situations. 

“This only prolongs an immoral, unlawful policy that forces individuals to languish under dangerous conditions in Mexico in order to seek asylum in the United States,” said Melissa Crow, senior supervising attorney with SPLC’s Immigrant Justice Project. “If there is a new administration come next year, ending this policy and the myriad of others the Trump administration has implemented to eviscerate the rights of people seeking asylum must be a top priority.”

JaNell Gore

Ja'Nell Gore is a student at Cal State Bakersfield. In addition to writing for Kern Sol News she is a poet who loves any chance she has to perform and be with her community.