Florida residents may be aware that the Trump administration is engaged in a contentious legal battle with civil rights groups over its 'Remain in Mexico" policy. The policy requires asylum seekers from Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua to wait in Mexico until their claims can be heard. Groups including the American Civil Liberties Union say the policy violates international treaties and U.S. law, but the courts have so far backed the president.
Florida residents may be aware that the Trump administration is involved in a protracted legal battle with civil rights groups over the plight of Central American immigrants at the Mexican border who are seeking asylum in the United States. President Trump has referred to the situation as a national emergency and ordered asylum seekers who cross the border returned to Mexico to wait for a hearing. That policy was brought to a halt on April 8 by a federal judge in California, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed the ruling on May 7 with a decision that surprised many pundits.
In a new memorandum sent to the U.S. attorney general and acting homeland security secretary, the Trump Administration ordered an overhaul to the asylum system that would include a fee for migrants seeking protection in Florida and other states. The administration claims that the current system is being abused by a surge of migrants who are overwhelming federal resources. Authorities have been given 90 days to find a solution that processes all applications within 180 days of filing.
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.
A recent ruling in the Ninth Circuit might give hope to asylum seekers in Florida and throughout the US. The ruling dealt with asylum seekers who are denied refugee status by Customs and Border Patrol agents who find that they do not meet the credible fear test.
Seeking asylum has been in the news in Florida and throughout the country for some time. Some people remain unaware that entering the U.S. to seek asylum is legal. People are allowed to present themselves to a border patrol agent and to ask for asylum. They are then interviewed, and if they meet the credible fear test, they are allowed to remain in the U.S. while their asylum cases are processed.
As part of a project sponsored by San Diego State University, volunteers wrote letters to asylum seekers detained by the United States government at a private detention center in Otay Mesa, California. In February 2019, the university released hundreds of letters written by the asylum seekers in response. The letters written by the detainees have been digitized and made available to the public online. Observers report that the letters serve to humanize the asylum seekers and, as a result, make the public more sympathetic to their plight and that of immigrants in Florida seeking to obtain permanent residency in the United States.
Florida residents may be aware of a shift in policy that would see the United States keep its asylum seekers in Mexico while their cases are being heard. There are currently more than 800,000 cases pending, and the new policy could mean that immigrants will live in Mexico for months or years. Immigration judges are also left wondering how the policy will impact how they hear cases.
People in Florida concerned about the effect of President Trump's attempt to impose restrictions on asylum claims may have been relieved to hear that the Supreme Court upheld a block placed by federal District Judge Jon Tigar on the regulations. However, the high court has not yet heard arguments on the merits of the administration's claim to have the right to modify established immigration law. Last month, Trump signed a proclamation seeking to bar people who entered the United States without authorization at the southern border from seeking asylum anywhere but an official port of entry.
Florida residents with questions about immigration may be interested in knowing that credible fear asylum claims have climbed considerably over the past year, according to figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Credible fear is the initial step toward claiming asylum, which is one of the ways immigrants are able to gain legal access to the country. Between 2017 and 2018, these claims climbed 67 percent.