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Legal Victory Brings Hope to Asylum Seekers Turned Away at the Border

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Asylum seekers got a major win in a lawsuit challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) illegal policy of turning back asylum seekers at ports of entry. In Al Otro Lado v. Wolf, a federal judge decided that the case may proceed as a class action. This decision means that the named plaintiffs—14 individuals,

 

Asylum seekers got a major win in a lawsuit challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) illegal policy of turning back asylum seekers at ports of entry. In Al Otro Lado v. Wolf, a federal judge decided that the case may proceed as a class action.

This decision means that the named plaintiffs—14 individuals and an organization that assists asylum seekers—can seek relief for both themselves and the thousands of asylum seekers that have been turned away since 2016 or will be turned away in the future. In two ports of entry alone, over 57,640 asylum seekers were turned back in 2018 and 2019.

Asylum seekers’ victory in this case is a welcome development in the face of an otherwise grim situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Expelling Asylum Seekers From the Border

The Trump administration has used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to impose a near-complete shutdown of the U.S.-Mexico border. At the same time, the administration has rapidly “expelled” thousands of unaccompanied minors in the name of public health, even when they test negative for COVID-19.

Over 105,000 adults and children have been expelled through July. Hundreds of those who were not expelled have been sent back to Mexico to wait an unknown period of time for their U.S. immigration court hearings under the indefinitely-suspended “Migrant Protection Protocols.”

Metering Asylum Seekers in Mexico

Since 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has turned back asylum seekers at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border with a combination of lies, coercion, physical force, and obstruction, and its “metering” policy.

Under the metering policy, CBP officers claim that ports are “full,” forcing asylum seekers to put their names on waitlists and spend months in dangerous conditions in Mexico.

Metering is one of several current policies that collectively make it nearly impossible to access the asylum process and place people’s lives in danger.

Unlike asylum seekers subject to other policies, CBP officers do not acknowledge asylum seekers’ claims for protection at all under metering. This leaves them in legal limbo and puts them in physical, financial, and emotional distress in Mexico.

Where the Al Otro Lado v. Wolf Case Leaves Asylum Seekers

In the recent decision in Al Otro Lado v. Wolf, the federal judge recognized that plaintiffs’ evidence demonstrates that CBP’s different methods of turning back asylum seekers were all part of an “overarching policy” that furthers the “administration’s objection of restricting asylum access.”

Notably, this decision will not affect those individuals who are being rapidly “expelled” at the border. When the expulsion policy ends, either by court order or a new administration, asylum seekers who get turned away will be for the first time part of a class action lawsuit seeking to ensure their right to seek protection.

Last week’s order is an important step forward in the fight to ensure that the United States continues to be a nation that welcomes asylum seekers.

Source: Legal Victory Brings Hope to Asylum Seekers Turned Away at the Border

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US charges political rival in Haitian president’s killing

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According to this article on Associated Press, by Associated Press

“MIAMI (AP) — A former Haitian senator is facing charges in the United States related to last year’s assassination of former Haiti President Jovenel Moïse, authorities said.

John Joel Joseph made his initial appearance Monday in Miami federal court, according to court records. The Haitian citizen was extradited from Jamaica to the U.S. on Friday to face charges of conspiring to commit murder or kidnapping outside the United States and providing material support resulting in death, knowing or intending that such material support would be used to prepare for or carry out the conspiracy to kill or kidnap. He faces a possible life sentence.

According to a criminal complaint, Joseph and others, including about 20 Colombian citizens and several dual Haitian-American citizens, participated in a plot to kidnap or kill Haiti’s president, who was ultimately slain at his home in Haiti on July 7.

Joseph was arrested in Jamaica in January along with his wife and two sons.”

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Draft ruling shows Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade: report

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According to this article on The Hill, by JOHN KRUZEL

“The Supreme Court is poised to overturn the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that protects the federal right to abortion, according to a draft majority opinion published Monday evening by Politico.

The 67-page document, described as an initial draft majority opinion, would effectively eliminate abortion protections at the federal level and hand authority over abortion access to the states. Penned by Justice Samuel Alito, one of the court’s staunchest conservatives, the opinion concludes by declaring that Roe and the court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey have no grounding in the Constitution.

“We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” the opinion states. Under those cases, states were prohibited from banning abortion prior to fetal viability, around 23 weeks.”

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Supreme Court examines Biden’s power to set US immigration policy in ‘Remain in Mexico’ challenge

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According to this article on CNN, by Ariane de Vogue and Priscilla Alvarez

“(CNN)The Biden administration will ask the Supreme Court on Tuesday to allow it to terminate a Trump-era border policy known as “Remain in Mexico,” a case that will be a test of the White House’s ability to set immigration policy.

Under the unprecedented program launched in 2019, the Department of Homeland Security sent certain non-Mexican citizens who entered the US back to Mexico — instead of detaining them or releasing them into the United States — while their immigration proceedings played out.”

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