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Grace v. Barr
"Twelve asylum seekers challenge a host of executive-branch policies adopted to implement the expedited-removal provisions of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546 (codified as amended in scattered sections of 8 U.S.C.). Broadly speaking, the challenged policies concern how asylum officers determine whether an alien has demonstrated a “credible fear” of persecution, a threshold showing that permits an alien who would otherwise be immediately deported to seek asylum in the United States. The asylum seekers principally argue that the policies raise the bar for demonstrating a credible fear of persecution far above what Congress intended and that the Attorney General and various agencies violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq., by failing to adequately address important factors bearing on the policies’ adoption. Largely on these grounds, the district court found the policies inconsistent with IIRIRA, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq., and the APA, and enjoined their enforcement. [Grace v. Whitaker, Dec. 19, 2018.] For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we affirm in part and reverse in part. ... [W]e reverse the district court’s grant of summary judgment with respect to the circularity rule and the statements regarding domestic- and gang-violence claims, vacate the injunction insofar as it pertains to those issues, and remand to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. In all other respects, we affirm."