East Bay Sanctuary Covenant et al. v. Barr et al.

East Bay Sanctuary Covenant et al. v. Barr et al., Nos. 3:19-cv-04073 (N.D. Cal filed July 16, 2019); 19-16487 (9th Cir.); 19A230 (Supreme Court)

On July 15, 2019, President Trump announced an interim final rule providing that noncitizens who pass through another country prior to reaching the southern border of the United States are ineligible for asylum here. The new rule has very few exceptions, and thus bars virtually every noncitizen fleeing persecution from obtaining asylum in the United States if they passed through another country on the way here, no matter the conditions or purpose of their journey through that country or their prospect of protection, rights, or status in that country. Accordingly, anyone fleeing persecution from the ongoing humanitarian crisis in several Central American countries who reasonably does not apply for protection while en route will be categorically denied the opportunity to seek asylum in the United States and likely forced to return to countries that are rife with danger in violence. In short, the rule virtually repeals the U.S. asylum system at the southern border.
On July 16, the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, ACLU of Northern California, and Center for Constitutional Rights sued to enjoin this rule. On July 24, the district court judge granted a preliminary injunction, stopping the rule from being enforced nationwide. The government appealed that order, and the court of appeals narrowed the scope of the injunction to just the Ninth Circuit (the CA and AZ borders). Plaintiffs submitted supplemental evidence and filed a motion to restore the nationwide scope of the injunction, which the district court granted on September 9. In the meantime, the government filed an application for a stay pending appeal of the district court’s order directly to the United States Supreme Court, which it granted on September 11, 2019.

See also: I.A. et al. v. Barr., No. 1:19-cv-02530-TJK (D.D.C. filed Aug. 21, 2019)

Counsel: Katrine L. Eiland, Lee Gelernt, Anand Balakrishnan, Cody Wofsy, Omar Jadwat, Spencer Amdur & Julie Veroff, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Mary Bauer & Melissa Crow, Southern Poverty Law Center; Angelica Salceda & Vasudha Talla, ACLU of Northern California

Contact: Katrina Eiland | ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project | 415-343-0770 | keiland@aclu.org