(UnitedVoice.com) – President Joe Biden is fighting an immigration crisis at the border. His critics have said the blame lies solely at his feet because he rolled back many of former President Donald Trump’s strict policies when he took over. Since January 2021, millions of migrants have entered the country illegally, putting a massive strain on border states and communities.
In the days before Title 42 came to an end, the president’s administration began denying entry to some migrants who tried to apply for asylum. Now, the federal government is being sued by several groups.
Controversial Asylum Rule
In February, the administration posted a rule online that laid out new requirements for asylum seekers. According to the rule, it was meant to stem the flow of migrants after the termination of the public health emergency and the end of Title 42. The asylum rule denies entry to migrants who “neither avail themselves of a lawful, safe, and orderly pathway” to America “nor seek asylum or other protection in a country through which they travel.” The administration will also require all migrants to apply for appointments at the border if they want to seek asylum.
The new policy mirrored a rule during the Trump administration that forced migrants to apply for asylum in one of the countries they traveled through before applying in the US. In order to apply in America, another nation had to first deny them before they could cross the southern border and ask for protection here.
In 2020, US District Judge Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump appointee, struck down the rule because it violated the federal Administrative Procedure Act. The judge ruled the American people were not given time to weigh in on the issue.
On May 11, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced it joined the ACLU of Northern California, the National Immigrant Justice Center, and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies to sue the Biden administration on behalf of several immigrant advocacy groups over the new asylum law. The civil rights organization accused the president of mimicking the Trump-era bans.
The lawsuit, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Biden, accuses the administration of attempting to resuscitate the Trump administration asylum bans that previous courts have thrown out — even though the courts tossed the old rule on procedural grounds, not on its legality. The new suit goes on to say the rule is “no less illegal or harmful.” It argues the rule will “eliminate asylum” for almost all asylum seekers who aren’t Mexican.
The groups argue the rule violates the law because federal courts have ruled the government isn’t able to force asylum seekers to enter the US at official ports of entry, nor can it force migrants to file for asylum in the countries they pass through.
Additionally, the lawsuit claims the last time the rule was in effect, “98% of asylum seekers were unable to satisfy its conditions because of danger and overwhelmed or nonexistent asylum systems in transit countries.” As for the requirement for appointments, the suit argues the system to apply for those is flawed.
The groups want the courts to strike down the new rules.
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