Legal experts in Tennessee and around the country have been closely following a case brought by a coalition of civil rights groups on behalf of undocumented immigrants over one of President Trump’s controversial asylum rules. The rule, which requires asylum seekers to make their claims in the first safe country they enter, contradicts established U.S. immigration law, and the case is seen as an attempt to place limits on the scope of executive powers.
The administration saw an initial setback when a federal judge in California issued an injunction to prevent the rule’s implementation, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the injunction should only apply in certain states. The judge who initially issued the injunction stepped back into the fray on Sept. 9 by restoring the nationwide ban. The White House has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and resolve the issue.
An American Civil Liberties attorney praised the judge’s decision and said that it protects vulnerable migrants who are fleeing desperate conditions in search of better lives. Senior administration officials have claimed that the ruling benefits drug smugglers and human traffickers and will only increase suffering by making the emergency at the nation’s southern border even worse.
Asylum is only granted to those who are able to establish a credible and genuine fear of violence or persecution based on their race, political opinions, national origin or religion. Attorneys with experience in immigration cases might explain to those hoping to escape poverty and violence that some asylum claims are unsuccessful because such a fear cannot be established. Attorneys may also point out that there are other paths to temporary or permanent legal residence in the United States, such as work or family-based visa programs.