I.A. et al. v. Barr et al.

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

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 August 21, 2019, the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, ACLU of D.C., and the National Immigrant Justice Center sued to enjoin this policy on behalf of several individual plaintiffs and the Tahirih Justice Center as an organizational plaintiff. The same day, these organizations filed a motion for a preliminary injunction of the policy. As of October 2019, that motion is still pending.

See also: East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Barr et al., Nos. 3:19-cv-04073 (N.D. Cal filed July 16, 2019); 19-16487 (9th Cir.); No. 19A230 (Supreme Court).

Counsel: Katrina Eiland, Cody Wofsy, Julie Veroff, Celso Perez, Lee Gelernt, Omar Jadwat, and Anand Balakrishnan, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Arthur Spitzer and Scott Michelman, ACLU of D.C.; Charles Roth, Keren H. Kwick, and Gianna Borroto, National Immigrant Justice Center

Contact: Katrina Eiland | ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project | 415-343-0774 | keiland@aclu.org