Presidential Proclamation 9822
On November 9, 2018, President Trump issued a proclamation that, in combination with a rule promulgated by DHS and DOJ, bars from seeking asylum any individuals who enter the United States without inspection by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Official. While affected individuals may still seek relief in the form of withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture, those forms of protection are at once weaker and more difficult to obtain than asylum. The proclamation will remain effective for 90 days—subject to extension— or until the establishment of a so-called “safe third country” agreement with Mexico.
The President’s action guts key due process protections for asylum seekers. Under unambiguous laws passed by Congress, all persons arriving to the United States, whether at or between ports of entry, have the right to seek asylum. Not everyone is eligible for that relief; but everyone deserves a full and fair opportunity to pursue it. The proclamation is a transparent end run around those statutes and has already come under legal challenge.
Temporary Court Injunction
On November 19, 2018, Judge Jon S. Tigar of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco issued a temporary injunction blocking the Trump administration from implementing the new policy, saying it likely violated federal law on asylum eligibility. Judge Tigar's order remains in effect until December 19, 2018, at which point the court will consider arguments for a permanent order.
How does this development affect asylum-seekers in the United States?
The Presidential Proclamation affects people entering the United States seeking asylum, not asylum-seekers already in the United States. As a result of Judge Tigar’s injunction, the Trump administration is currently restricted from implementing the new policy and asylum-seekers remain able to seek the protections of asylum regardless of whether they entered with or without being inspected by a CBP Officer.
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