Major asylum victory

Thanks to the efforts of our team, a federal judge struck down a restrictive immigration ban targeting Central Americans seeking refuge in the United States. We represented several nonprofit groups and individual migrants in successfully challenging the third-country transit rule, which effectively prevented those entering the United States across its southern border from seeking asylum.

On June 30, 2020, Judge Timothy Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the federal government's second asylum ban, effective immediately. The ruling in Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition v. Trump ended a restrictive policy that categorically disqualified individuals from seeking asylum unless they already had sought similar protection in another country first.

Judge Kelly's ruling is of enormous significance for asylum seekers. It is often impossible for individuals to seek or obtain asylum in third countries en route to the United States due to safety concerns and severe deficiencies in those countries' asylum systems. This asylum rule thus operated as a virtual bar to those entering the United States at the southern border from seeking asylum, regardless of the merits of their claims. The outcome has been reported by various news outlets, including the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, among others.

Read the press release.


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