The US asylum system is a shambles of stupid. A system that was intended to provide victims of genocide or ethnic, religious, and political persecution has been distorted into one where an abusive spouse can trigger a valid asylum claim. Back in June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions took action to ensure immigration judges were adhering to the letter of the law and not playing Santa Claus handing out US residency.
Now a federal judge has decided that he knows best.
BREAKING: Judge Emmet Sullivan isn't done this week, striking down most of AG Sessions' move to heighten standards for "credible fear" asylum determinations and order the return of those deported under that policy. pic.twitter.com/KuCELoasoV
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) December 19, 2018
Today's decision out of DC is no doubt a big blow to the administration's reforms to asylum, but it looks as if it only applies to the preliminary interview (credible fear), not the actual asylum adjudication.
& Matter of AB didn't seem to affect those interviews much anyway… pic.twitter.com/kF9PKOprzA
— Sarah Pierce (@SarahPierceEsq) December 19, 2018
NEW: Judge on Trump admin asylum case: “The Court permanently enjoins the gov’t from continuing to apply those policies & from removing plaintiffs who are currently in the US w/o first providing credible fear determinations consistent w/ immigration laws” https://t.co/cgUWL4rsf4 pic.twitter.com/SLVK7cigXx
— Evan Rosenfeld (@Evan_Rosenfeld) December 19, 2018
This is the same guy who blew up the Flynn sentencing hearing yesterday.
A federal judge struck down most of a Trump administration policy that turns away asylum seekers who say they suffer domestic or gang violence https://t.co/D3edw9Ik6w
— POLITICO (@politico) December 19, 2018
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that policies blocking the alleged victims from obtaining “credible fear” of return to their home country — the first step in an asylum claim — violates federal immigration law.
The decision bars the Trump administration from rapidly deporting such asylum seekers and represents another legal setback in President Donald Trump’s battle to discourage migrants from trekking to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Sullivan wrote in a detailed 107-page opinion that new credible fear policies stemming from an immigration court opinion issued in June by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions ran afoul of congressional intent.
I don’t think this opinion will result in much more than some cheers from the #Resistance because f*** Congressional intent. In fact, there are Supreme Court decisions that say that. The law gives the Attorney General broad powers to interpret the law via his role as head of the Board of Immigration Appeals and really nothing Sessions did should have triggered the Administrative Procedures Act as he was instructing immigration judges on how to interpret existing law.
More and more, it is becoming obvious that a substantial part of the federal judiciary has decided to become partisan actors because, for whatever reason, they’ve decided to oppose Trump administration policies. They should have fun while they can. Mitch McConnell is remaking the federal judiciary and within two years, if he stays focused, decisions like this will be symbolic and ephemeral victories as they will quickly be brushed aside.
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