Centro Legal de la Raza is deeply disappointed in the SCOTUS decision to stay preliminary injunctive relief for asylum seekers. The decision stays injunctive relief while the legal fight continues in East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Barr in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Trump administration continues to attack the rights of asylum seekers and refugees seeking protection in the United States. Since World War II and in an effort to ensure that no one should ever experience the horrors of the holocaust again, we adopted and obligated the U.S. to uphold and protect the rights of asylum seekers and refugees under law and policy.
On July 16, 2019, the Trump administration sought to undermine our laws and obligations and attack asylum seekers and refugees through the promulgation of new rules in violation of international and domestic laws. The Trump administration’s new rule seeks to bar noncitizens from seeking asylum in the U.S. by forcing them to petition for asylum in an intermediate or third country they may have traveled through to get to safety. Asylum seekers are fleeing persecution and torture. They are often forced to travel through unstable and dangerous regions or nations where they are likely to suffer other serious harm. The U.S. congress considered these issues when they created laws and policies that require asylum seekers to prove that they are not firmly resettled in a safe third country. U.S. asylum officers and courts have operated under these laws for decades and only barred asylum seekers where they were firmly resettled in safe third countries. We cannot disregard our obligations of non-refoulement and send asylum seekers back to certain persecution and torture in their home countries or other third countries that will not provide them with humanitarian protections. The administration’s new rule upsets decades of law, violates our legal obligations under domestic and international human rights laws, and will cause devastating and life-threatening effects.
We agree with the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California that the Trump administration will cause irreparable harm without nationwide injunctive relief pending a decision on the merits of this matter. Centro Legal de la Raza works with asylum seekers at the U.S. – Mexico border and living in our communities. We look forward to the judicious consideration of the merits in East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Barr and hope that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the SCOTUS will put an end to these dangerous, arbitrary, and unlawful attacks against refugees that deeply undermine the rule of law and human rights in the U.S.