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The ACLU is suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions as his asylum reforms are causing a “dramatic” drop in the number of economic migrants who pass the initial credible-fear test needed to win asylum and get jobs in the United States.
“Starting in January 2018, court findings of credible fear began to plummet,” says a report by TRAC Reports, Inc., a non-profit based at Syracuse University which collects asylum and immigration-related data. The “dramatic change” is shown in the data, says TRAC:
By June 2018, only 14.7 percent of the CFR [credible fear] Immigration Court decisions found the asylum seeker had a “credible fear.” This was just half the [30 percent] level that had prevailed during the last six months of 2017 …
Unless the asylum seeker who is otherwise subject to expedited remova passes the [courtroom] CFR review, he or she is not allowed even to apply for asylum. This applies to most parents arriving with children at the southwest border. As a consequence, individuals who don’t pass these reviews are usually quickly deported back to their home countries.
The article goes on to state the following:
The latest results include the impact of reforms set in 2017 by Sessions, who is gradually reversing the catch-and-release policies put in place by former President Barack Obama.
The next set of monthly data is expected to show a further large drop because of the additional asylum reforms announced by Sessions in June and July 2018. The drop may return asylum levels to the 10 percent mark set in 2013.
In response, the ACLU has filed its lawsuit against Sessions’ June reforms on August 7, in the left-leaning federal U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. The ACLU asked the federal courts to assume control over the Justice Department’s immigration courtrooms, saying:
The government has now directed asylum officers to fully implement those new, illegal rules to credible fear screenings — leading to unjustified deportations of vulnerable refugees like Grace. And the guidance to asylum officers goes even further, directing them to ignore any court rulings that are inconsistent with Sessions’ new decision. That direction conflicts with the Constitution’s separation of powers principles because, as the Supreme Court explained 200 years ago, it is the courts, not executive branch officials that must ultimately decide “what the law is.”
BREAKING: We’re suing Jeff Sessions for illegally denying asylum protections to immigrants fleeing domestic violence and gang brutality.
These policies undermine the fundamental human rights of women and violate decades of settled asylum law. https://t.co/nzRhkIm7r2
— ACLU (@ACLU) August 7, 2018
Jeff Sessions has repeatedly attacked the integrity of asylum seekers, but he’s actually the one gaming the system.
Here’s how his new policies illegally gut asylum protections for immigrants fleeing domestic violence and gang brutality: pic.twitter.com/EU2NMRxuJG
— ACLU (@ACLU) August 7, 2018
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