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ACLU, Aug. 7, 2018 - "The American Civil Liberties Union and Center for Gender & Refugee Studies filed a federal lawsuit today challenging the Trump administration’s gutting of asylum protections for immigrants fleeing domestic violence and gang brutality.
At issue are new “expedited removal” policies put forth by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that instruct asylum officers to “generally” deny such claims — calling them purely “personal” — as well as apply erroneous legal standards, and ignore contrary federal court precedents. The policies undermine the fundamental human rights of women, contradicting decades of settled domestic and international law recognizing gender-based persecution as a basis for asylum. They also impermissibly undermine claims involving gang violence.“This is a naked attempt by the Trump administration to eviscerate our country’s asylum protections,” said Jennifer Chang Newell, managing attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “It’s clear the administration’s goal is to deny and deport as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.”
The Trump administration has been open about its goals to deport immigrants and asylum seekers without due process, or any process at all. It has called for immediate removal of individuals arriving in the U.S. without further consideration of their claims, by making it harder for asylum seekers to meet threshold standards.
U.S. law requires that, at a minimum, any newly arrived immigrant who expresses fear of return to their home county be given a screening interview with an asylum officer to determine whether they have a “credible fear of persecution.” Those who pass the credible fear interview are taken out of the expedited removal system and can pursue their asylum claims in full trial-type hearings in immigration court.
The plaintiffs in this case include women who have endured extensive persecution in the form of sexual and physical violence. Fearing they would be killed, along with their young children, they sought refuge in the U.S. But under the new policies, even though government officials found the accounts credible, they concluded the women did not have a “credible fear of persecution” and ordered them to be sent back to the countries where they face grave harm.
To protect their safety, pseudonyms are being used. Plaintiffs include:
“The Trump administration is violating U.S. immigration law, international refugee law, and our Constitution,” said Eunice Lee, co-legal director of the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies. “It’s putting the lives of our plaintiffs and thousands of asylum seekers in grave danger.”
The case, Grace v. Sessions, was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. Co-counsel are the ACLU of Texas and ACLU of D.C.
The complaint is at:https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/grace-v-sessions-complaint
Read the blog:https://www.aclu.org/blog/immigrants-rights/deportation-and-due-process/jeff-sessions-illegal-attacks-asylum-seekers
More information is here and here."