Groups Challenge Rejections of Asylum Seekers at the Border

August 22, 2017 CGRS applauds our colleagues at the American Immigration Council, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Latham & Watkins LLP, who in July filed a class action lawsuit challenging the U.S. government's unlawful practice of turning away asylum seekers at the southern border. Filed on behalf of Los Angeles and Tijuana-based legal services organization Al Otro Lado and six individual asylum seekers, the lawsuit alleges that, emboldened by the Trump Administration’s anti-refugee rhetoric and policies, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have used a variety of tactics – including “misrepresentation, threats and intimidation, verbal abuse and physical force, and coercion” – to deny asylum seekers the opportunity to pursue their claims.

CBP’s well-documented practice of turning away asylum seekers jeopardizes the lives of women, children, and families who look to the United States for safe haven. It is also illegal; under U.S. and international law, an individual who expresses fear of persecution in their home country has the right to pursue claims for asylum and related forms of immigration relief.

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Photo from Justin Sullivan, Getty Images.