East Bay Sanctuary Covenant Plaintiff in Lawsuit Challenging New Trump Ban

November 9, 2018

Inga Sarda-Sorensen, ACLU, 212-284-7347, isarda-sorensen@aclu.org

Lisa Hoffman, EBSC, 510-540-5296, ext. 133, lisa@eastbaysanctuary.org

SAN FRANCISCO — The American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Center for Constitutional Rights have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the asylum ban proclamation signed this morning by President Trump.

The lawsuit currently charges the administration with violating the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as the Administrative Procedure Act.

“President Trump’s new asylum ban is illegal. Neither the president nor his cabinet secretaries can override the clear commands of U.S. law, but that’s exactly what they’re trying to do. This action undermines the rule of law and is a great moral failure because it tries to take away protections from individuals facing persecution — it’s the opposite of what America should stand for,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

The case, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump, was filed in federal court in San Francisco. It was brought on behalf of East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Al Otro Lado, Innovation Law Lab, and the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles.

“The asylum ban, coupled with CBP’s widespread practice and policy of turning back individuals attempting to seek asylum at ports of entry, would effectively deny protection to thousands of vulnerable individuals. The government’s blatant disregard for the rights of asylum seekers cannot stand,” said Melissa Crow, Southern Poverty Law Center senior supervising attorney.

Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, added, “Ever since the horrors of World War II, the world’s nations have committed to giving asylum seekers the opportunity to seek safe haven. The Trump administration cannot defy this most elementary humanitarian principle, in violation of U.S. and international law, with a flip of a presidential pen.”

“The ban will have a huge and detrimental impact on hundreds of Bay Area asylum applicants,” said Michael Smith, EBSC’s director of Refugee Rights. “For 36 years, we have helped vulnerable populations — victims of gender-based violence, indigenous Guatemalans, LGBT individuals, and unaccompanied children — obtain asylum. Our clients deserve safety and protection under U.S. and international asylum law.”

EBSC was founded in 1982 to help Central American refugees fleeing violence. Since then, we have assisted refugees from more than 60 countries who are fleeing atrocious forms of persecution. We reaffirm our commitment to support people’s fundamental human right to seek asylum.

The complaint is at: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/east-bay-sanctuary-covenant-v-trump-complaint

This statement is at: https://eastbaysanctuaryconvenant.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/east-bay-sanctuary-covenant-plaintiff-in-lawsuit-challenging-new-trump-asylum-ban__09nov2018.pdf