News

Immigration

Judge Strikes Down Trump Administration’s Attempt to Tighten Asylum Process

Migrants from Honduras walk next to the border fence as they prepare to cross it illegally, in Tijuana, Mexico, December 14, 2018. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

A federal judge on Wednesday struck down former attorney general Jeff Sessions’s attempt to heighten the requirements for migrants seeking asylum under the “credible fear” standard.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan struck down the major components of Sessions’s June decision, which sought to deny entry to migrants claiming asylum under the “credible fear” standard due to the threat of gang-related violence. Sullivan found that Sessions’s interpretation of the “credible fear” standard violated federal law and ordered that those migrants deported from the country due to the revised asylum rules be returned to the U.S.

“A general rule that effectively bars [asylum] claims based on certain categories of persecutors (i.e. domestic abusers or gang members) or claims related to certain kinds of violence is inconsistent with Congress’ intent to bring ‘United States refugee law into conformance with the [Protocol],” Sullivan wrote. “The new general rule is thus contrary to the Refugee Act and the [Immigration and Nationality Act].”

Sessions, who was fired in early November just one day after the midterm elections, defended the rule change on the grounds that the existing policy granted provided migrants with an overly broad and hard to verify set of circumstances that could be used to enter the asylum processing system.

“The vast majority of the current asylum claims are not valid,” Sessions said when announcing the policy change in June. “Asylum was never meant to alleviate all problems, even all serious problems, that people face every day all over the world.”

Sullivan threatened to hold Sessions in contempt in an unrelated case in August after learning that the Department of Justice moved to deport a mother and her child while their immigration proceedings were still ongoing.

Under the new policy that Sessions hoped to adopt permanently, migrants would only be entitled to claim asylum if they were endangered by the actions of the state from which they fled.

A backlog of roughly 700,000 unprocessed asylum claims existed when Sessions made his announcement in June. According to the Department of Homeland Security, many of those unprocessed claims were filed by migrants who have no legitimate claim to asylum but nevertheless file an application because they know they will be admitted to the country and can remain — for years in many cases — while their claim is being adjudicated.

Most Popular

PC Culture

Hate-Crime Hoaxes Reflect America’s Sickness

On January 29, tabloid news site TMZ broke the shocking story that Jussie Smollett, a gay black entertainer and progressive activist, had been viciously attacked in Chicago. Two racist white men had fractured his rib, poured bleach on him, and tied a noose around his neck. As they were leaving, they shouted ... Read More
Elections

One Last Grift for Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, the antique Brooklyn socialist who represents Vermont in the Senate, is not quite ready to retire to his lakeside dacha and so once again is running for the presidential nomination of a party to which he does not belong with an agenda about which he cannot be quite entirely ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Strange Paradoxes of Our Age

Modern prophets often say one thing and do another. Worse, they often advocate in the abstract as a way of justifying their doing the opposite in the concrete. The result is that contemporary culture abounds with the inexplicable — mostly because modern progressivism makes all sorts of race, class, and ... Read More
U.S.

White Progressives Are Polarizing America

To understand how far left (and how quickly) the Democratic party has moved, let’s cycle back a very short 20 years. If 1998 Bill Clinton ran in the Democratic primary today, he’d be instantaneously labeled a far-right bigot. His support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Defense of Marriage Act, ... Read More
Film & TV

A Sublime Christian Masterpiece of a Film

‘There are two ways through life -- the way of nature and the way of grace,” remarks the saintly mother at the outset of The Tree of Life, one of the most awe-inspiring films of the 21st century. She continues: Grace doesn’t try please itself. It accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked, accepts insults ... Read More