Pro-migration lawyers have recruited several Honduran caravan migrants to demand judges block President Donald Trump’s asylum reforms, due for release next week.
“NOW COMES Plaintiffs Maria Doris Pineda, Jasmine Ortega Sanchez, Francisco Javier Castillos, Holivia Adeline Castillos, Dina Ruc, and Marta Lopez, and file this civil action against the Trump administration for violations of their procedural and substantive due process rights,” says the lawsuit by DC-based John M. Shoreman, plus three additional lawyers in Atlanta, Mario B. Williams, Julie Oinonen, and Dallas S. LePierre.
The Nov. 1 lawsuit admits that the migrants are not in the United States, but are “travelling [sic] by foot to the United States to seek asylum.”
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and is so rushed that it targets Thomas Homan, the retired former acting Director of ICE. “Defendant Thomas Homan is sued in his official capacity as the Director of ICE,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit focuses on presidential statements and various predictions, but not on regulations and instructions issued by the federal government. It claims:
Trump’s professed and enacted policy towards thousands of caravanners seeking asylum in the United States is shockingly unconstitutional. President Trump continues to abuse the law, including constitutional rights, to deter Central Americans from exercising their lawful right to seek asylum in the United States
The new rules and regulations are expected next week. They likely include a rule ending the Flores judicial commandment which forces border agencies to release migrants who bring children before the courts can process their asylum claims.
The lawsuit demands that the federal government allow the migrants to plead for asylum, but there is no evidence that President Donald Trump intends to prevent the migrants from asking for asylum. In his Nov. 1 press conference, Trump did not promise to bar asylum applications by the caravan migrants, but promised that he would detain migrants until their claims are heard:
Under this plan, the illegal aliens will no longer get a free pass into our country by lodging meritless claims in seeking asylum. Instead, migrants seeking asylum will have to present themselves lawfully at a port of entry. So they’re going to have to lawfully present themselves at a port of entry. Those who choose to break our laws and enter illegally will no longer be able to use meritless claims to gain automatic admission into our country. We will hold them — for a long time, if necessary.
Trump argued that his reforms would end the catch-and-release policies set by former President Barack Obama and by Congress:
The biggest loophole drawing illegal aliens to our borders is the use of fraudulent or meritless asylum claims to gain entry into our great country. An alien simply crosses the border illegally, finds a Border Patrol agent, and using well-coached language — by lawyers and others that stand there trying to get fees or whatever they can get — they’re given a phrase to read … then often released into the United States, and they await a lengthy court process. The court process will takes years sometimes for them to attend. Well, we’re not releasing them into our country any longer.
On average, once released, an asylum case takes three and half years to complete. Think of it. Somebody walks into our country, reads a statement given by a lawyer, and we have a three-and-a-half-year court case for one person.
The overwhelming majority of claims are rejected by the courts, but by that time, the alien has usually long since disappeared into our country. So they never get to see the judge. They never get to have a ruling. They don’t care because they’re in the country and nobody knows where they are.
Trump noted that asylum law does not accept poverty as a cause for granting asylum:
Asylum is not a program for those living in poverty. There are billions of people in the world living at the poverty level. The United States cannot possibly absorb them all. Asylum is a very special protection intended only for those fleeing government persecution based on race, religion, and other protected status.
“This complaint is poorly written and looks more like a press release than a lawsuit, using politically charged terms and hyperbole instead of carefully reasoned legal claims,” says Breitbart News Senior Legal Editor Ken Klukowski.
“This case is not ripe for adjudication, but regardless, if President Trump issues a presidential proclamation denying entry to this class of aliens, then Supreme Court precedent makes clear Congress has given him the legal authority to do so,” he said.
However, the lawsuit indicates several legal claims that are likely to be made by establishment pro-migration groups, such as the ACLU.
For example, it says that migrants can only be detained in camp cities which are licensed and overseen by state-approved oversight groups:
the Flores Agreement, a legally binding agreement designed to ensure the safety of immigrant alien children, as they enter this country for a variety of reasons, states that minors must be held in facilities run by licensed programs that are “safe and sanitary and are consistent with [Defendants’] concern for the particular vulnerability of minors.” … These facilities must “provide access to toilets and sinks, drinking water … adequate temperature control and ventilation, adequate supervision to protect minors from others, and contact with family.
President Trump’s policy position/initiative is to put these very children in tents, touting that “when they find out this happens, [held in tents for years in the desert] you’re going to have far fewer people come up.” Clearly President Trump cannot believe that his tents are facilities run by licensed programs as required by the Flores Agreements. And President Trump clearly is not talking about adequate temperature controlled and ventilated tents with toilets and sinks and drinking water, for Plaintiffs’ children, noting that Trump has condoned tent encampments as recent as 8 months ago.
The lawsuit is here.