Ninth Circuit blocks Trump forced return to Mexico policy

Yesterday a federal appeals court blocked the Trump administration’s policy that forced asylum seekers to return to Mexico and remain there indefinitely while their asylum applications were processed in the United States. The injunction is effective immediately.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, and Southern Poverty Law Center are challenging the policy. They presented arguments in October 2019 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The groups won a preliminary injunction in April, and in May the Ninth Circuit temporarily allowed the policy to take effect as the government appealed the injunction.

ACLU attorney Judy Rabinovitz, who argued the appeal, had this reaction to today’s ruling:

“The court forcefully rejected the Trump administration’s assertion that it could strand asylum seekers in Mexico and subject them to grave danger. It’s time for the administration to follow the law and stop putting asylum seekers in harm’s way.”

The case, Innovation Law Lab v. Wolf, was brought on behalf of 11 individual asylum seekers who were forced to return to Mexico to wait, and organizational plaintiffs Innovation Law Lab, the Central American Resource Center of Northern California, Centro Legal de la Raza, the University of San Francisco School of Law Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic, Al Otro Lado, and the Tahirih Justice Center.

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