East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump

At a Glance

Date Filed: 

November 9, 2018

Current Status 

The judge granted the Temporary Restraining Order on November 19, 2018

Co-Counsel 

ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project; ACLU of Northern California; Southern Poverty Law Center

Client(s) 

Case Description 

This case was brought by non-profit, grassroots organizations fighting for the rights of immigrants and refugees to challenge the Trump administration’s sudden and unilateral imposition of a bar on asylum eligibility to those who cross the southern border without authorization. U.S. asylum law has long allowed for immigrants fleeing persecution to seek asylum regardless of their manner of entry. But on November 8, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice promulgated a rule to bar those who enter  “without inspection” from seeking asylum; President Trump issued a presidential proclamation suspending the entry of all those who cross the southern border without inspection the next day. Taken together, the rule and proclamation undermine the express will of Congress, which authorized those who enter without inspection to seek asylum. Further, the rules flout the limits of executive agencies’ power to make new rules without giving notice and an opportunity for the public to comment. Plaintiffs’ claims are based on violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.  

We seek an injunction to bar the administration’s unlawful actions, which will have devastating and life-threatening effects on asylum-seekers at the southern border.  Those who cannot apply for asylum are likely to be deported to face severe persecution and possible death. As documented in our case Al Otro Lado v. Nielsen , the Department of Homeland Security has a documented pattern, practice, and policy of turning asylum-seekers away from official ports of entry at the U.S. border with Mexico, thus pushing many asylum-seekers to cross the border without authorization in order to reach relative safety. The administration’s latest action is part of its broad assault on immigrants of color.

This case is part of CCR’s larger work fighting abusive immigration policies, supporting immigrants and immigrant rights organizations, and upholding international human rights.

Case Timeline

November 29, 2018
Plaintiffs file opposition to defendants' motion to stay the temporary restraining order
November 29, 2018
Plaintiffs file opposition to defendants' motion to stay the temporary restraining order
November 27, 2018
Defendants file a motion to stay the temporary restraining order
November 27, 2018
Defendants file a motion to stay the temporary restraining order
November 19, 2018
Judge grants TRO
November 19, 2018
Judge grants TRO
November 14, 2018
California, Massachusetts, New York and the state of Washington file an amicus brief supporting the motion for temporary restraining order
November 14, 2018
California, Massachusetts, New York and the state of Washington file an amicus brief supporting the motion for temporary restraining order
November 9, 2018
Plaintiffs file a complaint and motion for temporary restraining order in Northern District of California
November 9, 2018
Plaintiffs file a complaint and motion for temporary restraining order in Northern District of California