Update: On November 19, 2018, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court of San Francisco ordered the Trump administration to resume accepting asylum applications from migrants, no matter where they entered the United States. The order temporarily blocks the administration's asylum ban until the court rules on its lawfulness.
Read NIJC's original statement:
CHICAGO (November 8, 2018) - The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) condemns the Trump administration’s unlawful attempt to bar migrants from asylum protection if they enter the United States outside a port of entry.
The policy was outlined in a new regulation posted to the Federal Register by the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice on November 8 and a presidential proclamation issued November 9.
NIJC Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy issued the following statement:
“Welcoming the persecuted, upholding due process, and keeping families together should be among our most cherished American values. With today’s announcement, the president is attempting to unilaterally upend the Refugee Act, which passed with strong bipartisan congressional support and has been part of U.S. law for nearly 40 years.
“Under the Refugee Act, the U.S. government has a legal obligation to allow people who come to our border and ask for asylum to have the opportunity to have their requests heard, no matter where or how they cross the border. NIJC has represented thousands of asylum seekers who fled to the United States across our southern border to escape persecution and violence, in search of freedom and security. Those traveling together through Mexico now are scared and desperate men, women, and children who had no choice but to leave their homes in order to survive. They are not traveling with maps to direct them to the nearest ports of entry, but are looking to reach safe haven as quickly and safely as they can. They have a right to tell their story to a judge and have a fair and full adjudication of their case.
“Our country has thrived when we’ve kept our promise that no matter where a person comes from, what they look like, or what they believe, they have a right to liberty and freedom from fear. Americans expect our leaders to uphold our values, not betray them. We must continue to speak out to hold the president and our government officials accountable.”