The Trump administration’s onslaught of efforts to curb legal rights for asylum seekers continues to hit judicial roadblocks. This week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ban on the implementation of an order Attorney General William Barr delivered earlier this year asserting that some new groups of asylum seekers could be detained indefinitely, even if they had successfully convinced authorities they had the “credible fear” of conditions in their homeland necessary for asylum.
The judges weighing in on the case insisted that the Justice Department had not delivered any “persuasive showing that it will suffer irreparable harm if it is required to provide bond hearings pending the outcome of this appeal in the same way it had done for several years.”
They bluntly added, pinpointing how the Trump administration had sought to overturn a basic Constitutional right of due process for detainees:
‘The government failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits of its underlying argument that the government may indefinitely detain the plaintiffs without affording bond hearings at all.’
The ruling is temporary and further arguments in the case are scheduled for this fall. The latest ruling follows a government appeal of a similar ruling from Seattle-area federal Judge Marsha Pechman, who insisted that there’s no legal basis for denying bond hearings to asylum seekers who authorities had slated for deportation for whatever reason.
Citing issues like continued dangers posed by lengthy stays in the U.S. detention system, Pechman shared:
‘The Court finds that Plaintiffs have established a constitutionally-protected interest in their liberty, a right to due process which includes a hearing before a neutral decisionmaker to assess the necessity of their detention, and a likelihood of success on the merits of that issue.’
Numerous interests have sounded an alarm about the Trump administration’s detention practices. There have been numerous reports of detainees getting subjected to issues like standing room only conditions for days and even weeks at a time and a complete lack of access to basic items like a shower for similar periods. There have also been even more directly heinous situations, like circulating reports of guards perpetrating sexual abuse on detainees, a sudden spike in the number of children who have died after being taken into custody, and other issues.
The Trump administration has suggested that letting more of the asylum seekers out would constitute ignoring the law and providing for some kind of “open border,” although that is false and, despite their ramblings provided through mouthpieces like U.S. Center for Immigration Services head Ken Cuccinelli during a recent ABC appearance, most asylum seekers do return to court for scheduled hearings if allowed to live outside of detention.
The Trump administration’s latest moves to try and upend basic asylum rights go on all the same. They have gone so far that they’ve announced they’ll be at least trying to stop accepting any and all asylum applications from individuals who pass through third countries before arriving at the U.S. border. That shift, which was abruptly taken to court, could slash asylum provisions dramatically, to say the least.
Featured Image via screenshot