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HIAS Joins Legal Brief Against Asylum Ban

Sep 06, 2019

Blog Post

Sharon Samber, HIAS.org

HIAS joined a group of twenty-eight NGOs and law school clinics in filing an amicus curiae (or “friend of the court”) brief  in support of legal efforts to block the Trump administration’s latest asylum ban. In July, the administration announced a new policy that would effectively deny asylum to anyone transiting through a third country en route to the U.S. southern border. 

HIAS criticized the policy as inhumane and possibly illegal when it was first proposed earlier this summer. HIAS Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Melanie Nezer said at the time: “U.S. and international law do not require people to apply for asylum on the road to safety; they are allowed to apply for asylum in the country where they feel they will be safe. For many fleeing Central America and elsewhere, that place is the United States.” 

The brief states the administration’s new rule is patently unlawful and “in flagrant violation of the United States’ bedrock domestic and international obligations to protect the persecuted.” The brief also argues that the policy “slams the United States’ doors on the persecuted, unilaterally ending asylum as we know it.”