CGRS Calls on the Ninth Circuit to Block Asylum Ban 2.0

Friday, October 18, 2019

Earlier this week, the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) filed an amicus brief in East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Barr, the lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s most far-reaching attempt to slam the door on asylum seekers, the third country asylum rule. Dubbed “asylum ban 2.0” by advocates, this rule denies asylum to those who seek protection at our southern border if they do not first apply in a third country en route to the United States, all but eviscerating the U.S. asylum system.

CGRS was joined in its brief by dozens of national and regional organizations, as well as law school clinics that advocate for asylum seekers in the region. Together we called on the Ninth Circuit to uphold the district court’s preliminary ruling in East Bay, blocking this inhumane and patently unlawful policy from taking effect. Other high-profile amicus parties urged the court to do the same, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, former government officials, and a union representing hundreds of asylum officers who have seen firsthand the damage wrought by the ban.

“The Administration’s latest asylum ban places refugees directly in harm’s way and violates the United States’ longstanding obligations to protect the persecuted,” CGRS Co-Legal Director Blaine Bookey said today. “We’re hopeful that the court will see this policy for what it is – a blatant and unlawful attempt by the Administration to rewrite U.S. law and defy the will of Congress by decree.”

The court of appeals is scheduled to hear arguments in early December.