Federal Court Blocks Trump Asylum Ban

November 20, 2018, San Francisco — A federal court temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s new asylum ban.

 The  Center for Constitutional Rights, Civil Liberties Union, and Southern Poverty Law Center were in court Monday successfully seeking the temporary restraining order to halt the policy as the legal challenge is litigated. The ruling was issued late last night.

“The court has provided an important check on a president who believes he is all powerful, able to override federal legislation with the stroke of his arbitrary and discriminatory pen,” said Center for Constitutional Rights Legal Director Baher Azmy. “Today the courts were clear: Trump's attempt to obliterate decades-old U.S. and international law ensuring a right to safe haven from persecution and violence will not stand.”

The complaint charges the administration with violating the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as the Administrative Procedure Act.

"This ban is illegal, will put people’s lives in danger, and raises the alarm about President Trump’s disregard for separation of powers,” said ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt, who argued the case. “There is no justifiable reason to flatly deny people the right to apply for asylum, and we cannot send them back to danger based on the manner of their entry. Congress has been clear on this point for decades.”

“This is a critical step in fighting back against President Trump’s war on asylum seekers,” said Melissa Crow, Southern Poverty Law Center senior supervising attorney. “While the new rule purports to facilitate orderly processing of asylum seekers at ports of entry, CBP has a longstanding policy and practice of turning back individuals who do exactly what the rule prescribes. These practices are clearly unlawful and cannot stand.”

The case, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump, was filed in federal court in San Francisco. It was brought on behalf of East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Al Otro Lado, Innovation Law Lab, and the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles. 

For the ruling and more information see the Center for Constitutional Rights case page.

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.


Last modified 

November 20, 2018