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Immigration Law

CA9 Upholds Injunction Against Asylum Rule

East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Barr

"On July 16, 2019, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security published a joint interim final Rule without notice and comment, entitled “Asylum Eligibility and Procedural Modifications” (the “Rule”). With limited exceptions, the Rule categorically denies asylum to aliens arriving at our border with Mexico unless they have first applied for, and have been denied, asylum in Mexico or another country through which they have traveled. We describe the Rule in detail below. Plaintiffs are nonprofit organizations that represent asylum seekers. They brought suit in district court seeking an injunction against enforcement of the Rule, contending that the Rule is invalid on three grounds: first, the Rule is not “consistent with” Section 208 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1158; second, the Rule is arbitrary and capricious; third, the Rule was adopted without notice and comment. The district court found that plaintiffs had a likelihood of success on all three grounds and entered a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the Rule, with effect in the four states on our border with Mexico. We hold that plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of success on the first and second grounds. We do not reach the third ground. We affirm."