Jan 15, 2020

ACLU sues Trump administration over Central America asylum agreements

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Image

The ACLU and other advocacy groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the Trump administration's asylum agreements that allow Honduran and Salvadoran asylum seekers to be sent to Guatemala.

Why it matters: The "safe third country" agreements with Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador would keep more asylum seekers out of the U.S., but critics say the program doesn't inform migrants of their other options and sends them to countries that can't offer security. Only the Guatemala agreement is in effect so far.

  • “The administration is illegally trying to turn away asylum seekers and pass the buck to other countries that can’t protect them," Katrina Eiland, an ACLU attorney said in a press release.
  • The plaintiffs include a Salvadoran man who fears persecution in Guatemala for his sexual orientation as well as a woman who fled Honduras with her young daughter after her husband and sister-in-law were killed by gang members.

Go deeper: Trump’s big border wall win isn't a physical one

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Illegal border crossings continue to fall as U.S. enforces asylum agreements

A Honduran migrant climbs on the U.S.-Mexico border fence near Tijuana in 2018. Photo: Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images

The number of attempted illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border fell for the eighth straight month in January to 36,679, Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Last year’s border crisis largely consisted of Central American families and children attempting to reach the U.S., but over the last few months, the Trump administration has begun implementing asylum agreements with those nations. That has allowed immigration officials to deport asylum seekers to Central American countries that are not their home.

Appeals court tosses high-profile youth climate lawsuit

Protesters attend a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court held by the group Our Children’s Trust October 29, 2018 in Washington, DC. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday threw out a lawsuit brought by 21 young people intended to force the U.S. government to act more aggressively to confront climate change.

Why it matters: The case, first brought in 2015, has been among the higher-profile pieces of climate litigation and underscores the challenges of using the court system to tackle global warming.

Go deeperArrowJan 17, 2020

New York lawsuit calls Trump admin Global Entry ban "unconstitutional"

New York Attorney General Letitia James at a November news conference in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration Monday, calling a Department of Homeland Security move to ban New Yorkers from enrolling in Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs "discriminatory," "unlawful" and "unconstitutional."

Driving the news: Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told Fox News last Thursday that the department was blocking New Yorkers from the programs in response to the state passing the "Green Light Law," preventing federal immigration officials from accessing vehicle records without a court order.