Florida residents who follow current events may be aware that several of President Trump’s most controversial immigration policies have been challenged in the courts by advocacy organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and groups of immigrants from Central America who wish to petition for asylum in the United States. The White House has not fared well in these cases, and it suffered another setback on April 8 when a federal judge in California ruled that requiring asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases were pending violated both federal law and the U.N. Convention on Refugees.
The judge gave the Trump administration two days to allow the 11 Guatemalan, Honduran and El Salvadorian asylum seekers behind the lawsuit into the country. He also issued an injunction to prevent any further asylum seekers from being denied entry. The injunction is scheduled to go into effect on April 12.
In the 2017 fiscal year, immigration authorities apprehended an average of 6,301 family unit members each month near the border. During the first five months of 2019, that figure rose to 27,230 per month. While this may be a cause for alarm, federal judges have consistently ruled that it is up to Congress and not the executive branch to address the issue.
Those hoping to be granted asylum in the United States must convince immigration judges that they face persecution or violence in their home countries due to their race, religion, sexual orientation or political opinions. Attorneys with experience in this area may assist asylum seekers by helping them to gather the kind of evidence immigration judges look for when determining whether a threat is genuine and credible.
Source: USA Today, Judge blocks Trump policy forcing asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico, Alan Gomez, April 8, 2019