ACLU files suit to block Trump rule to stop asylum seekers


It's morning edition from NPR news I'm Steve Inskeep and I'm no well king good morning critics are saying a new asylum rule from the trump administration is illegal the rule is meant to discourage people from seeking refuge at the U. S. Mexico border and it means they would likely be denied asylum if they didn't already apply for it in another country along the way legal learned as a lawyer with the ACLU they say they'll sue to block the policy and he's on the line from New York morning morning alright so you're saying this is illegal what your argument our argument is that this violates the laws Congress has passed ultimately this is an end run around Congress decision to provide for asylum regardless of whether you transited through another country at the end of the day this is a separation of powers issue Congress makes the laws about asylum this administration doesn't like those laws so it decided to rewrite them but it cannot rewrite them unilaterally can you lay out logistically what this role would be in for people who want asylum in this country right so what it says is if you've gone through any other country and arrived at our southern border you're not gonna be allowed to apply for asylum unless you applied in another country so that means everyone other than Mexicans coming from Mexico and so not just central Americans but anybody who is transmitted through another country will not be allowed to apply for asylum yeah essentially it's an end to asylum at the southern border the United States and Canada have this so called safe third country agreement which means asylum seekers have to apply to the first of either of those countries that they set foot in why is it wrong for the trump administration to do the same for Central America yes our I'm glad you asked about that because it's an important point at a you know a few things first of all we do not have a formal third party agreement with any other country in Central America so we don't so if if the ministers was even gonna go down that route we would have to have an actual formal written bilateral agreement that those countries would provide asylum but but the second point is just having an agreement is not enough those countries have to be able to provide a safe meaning for efficient asylum process so that people can actually get asylum in those countries and Guatemala for example is not equipped to provide asylum to all the people that would be sent there but we don't even get to that point because there is no formal agreement with the administration's basically saying is try your luck somewhere else but they know very well that those countries would not be safe for people to wait in I would not be able to provide a fair and efficient and safe asylum process the ACLU is challenging another one of the administration's asylum policies it's called remain in Mexico and it means migrants have to wait in Mexico while the US deals with their asylum claims a fiddle a federal appeals court said the administration could keep enforcing that policy for now does that concern you we are we are definitely concerned about it because there are thousands of people now including families and young children waiting in Mexico who are in real danger has been suffering have suffered assaults are living in no no I mean to say yes we we have a report on that but does it concern you with respect to this new suit that you plan to file well I think we're all two million a profound that suit but but regardless I think this raises very different issues we believe that the current law that was the current rule that was passed yesterday it is violating the immigration laws directly and so whatever ultimately happens with that case we hopefully will prevail in this one because we believe it's directly contradictory to what Congress is done with the asylum laws legal learned his deputy director of the ACLU immigrants rights project thanks

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