December 1, 2020

US judge blocks “third country” rule for asylum seekers



A US federal judge ruled that the government policy of President Donald Trump under which asylum seekers must wait for a response in a third country violates the Immigration and Nationality Law and the procedures for changing the rules.

Under this policy, since last year, the US government has sent tens of thousands of people to Mexico and Central America who had arrived at the border requesting asylum.

“The attempt to escape threats and trauma routinely takes migrants on dangerous crossings across multiple borders before they find opportunities for protection,” said Sharon Stanley Rea, director of the Christian Disciples’ Ministry for Refugees and Migrants in a statement. of Christ.

“Judge Kelly’s decision confirms that no government can prevent the most vulnerable from seeking protection here,” said the activist, adding that “the most important thing is that her ruling confirms that the government cannot prevent communities of faith and conscience either. present your views on such rules. “

Washington DC Judge Timothy Kelly, appointed to the federal magistracy by Trump in 2017, ruled that the law allows anyone who enters the United States and claims asylum to have a hearing to plead the reasons why he is fleeing his native country.

Kelly, in a 52-page ruling released Tuesday night, added that the government, in imposing the “third country” rule, failed to comply with the procedural law that requires sufficient time and opportunity for citizens to present your views on changes to federal rules.

The Justice and Homeland Security departments, Kelly wrote, “relied on a single newspaper article that did not even directly address the key criteria at issue: the likelihood of a large and rapid increase in the number of people seeking asylum.”

The ruling may have little impact on the situation on the border, as it has in fact been closed to immigration and asylum for months due to preventive measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Still, the ruling is yet another setback to Trump’s immigration policies, just days after the Supreme Court ruled that the government did not explain the president’s reasons, in 2017, for terminating a program that protects from the deportation of some 700,000 people brought illegally to the country when they were minors.

The country’s highest court found the decision to end DACA, as the program is known, to be “arbitrary and capricious.”

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