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Immigration Law

CA9 Strikes Down Asylum Rule: East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump

East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump

"Forty years ago, Congress recognized that refugees fleeing imminent persecution do not have the luxury of choosing their escape route into the United States. It mandated equity in its treatment of all refugees, however they arrived. This principle is embedded in the Refugee Act of 1980, which established an asylum procedure available to any migrant, “irrespective of such alien’s status,” and irrespective of whether the migrant arrived “at a land border or port of entry.” Pub. L. No. 96-212, § 208(a), 94 Stat. 102, 105 (1980). Today’s Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) preserves that principle. It states that a migrant who arrives in the United States—“whether or not at a designated port of arrival”—may apply for asylum. See 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a). In November 2018, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security jointly adopted an interim final rule (“the Rule”) which, coupled with a presidential proclamation issued the same day (“the Proclamation”), strips asylum eligibility from every migrant who crosses into the United States between designated ports of entry. In this appeal, we consider whether, among other matters, the Rule unlawfully conflicts with the text and congressional purpose of the INA. We conclude that it does."