The American Civil Liberties Union joined other civil rights organizations in filing a federal lawsuit on Thursday challenging the Trump administration’s policy of requiring asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their claims are processed in the United States, the Daily Beast reports.
“The Trump administration is forcibly returning asylum seekers to danger in Mexico,” said Judy Rabinovitz, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “The administration is breaking the law in order to deter asylum seekers from seeking safety in the United States.” The lawsuit contends that the policy, announced in December, violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, and international laws and treaties that obligate governments to not deport asylum seekers to countries where they may face danger. “This is no longer just a war on asylum seekers, it’s a war on our system of laws,” said Melissa Crow, a senior supervising attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which joined the ACLU in filing the suit. “This misguided policy deprives vulnerable individuals of humanitarian protections that have been on the books for decades and puts their lives in jeopardy.”