...Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, also arguing for the plaintiffs, said that in addition to the violations Medlock discussed, the policy also ran counter to an international law that countries cannot return asylum seekers to other countries where they are at risk of harm. This principle, known as non-refoulement, came to exist in the aftermath of the Holocaust because countries including the United States had rejected Jewish asylum seekers and returned them to their deaths at the hands of the Nazis.
Azmy urged the judge to be the first in the nation to recognize the international law in her decision-making. It hadn’t happened before, he said, because the current situation is unique to U.S. history in the time since the law was adopted.
“This is a historic instance of refoulement on a mass scale,” Azmy said. ...
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