Jul 16, 2019

Trump asylum restrictions: ACLU files lawsuit challenging new rules

Central American migrants in Mexico, heading toward the U.S. Photo: Pep Companys/AFP/Getty Images

Civil rights and advocacy groups filed a federal lawsuit in California Tuesday against the Trump administration’s new policy to restrict asylum for migrants coming across the southern border, which it calls "unlawful."

Why it matters: The new rules could have a huge impact in limiting Central American migrants' asylum claims to the U.S. The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the suit on behalf of the groups, alleges the move would "significantly undermine, if not virtually repeal, the U.S. asylum system at the southern border, and cruelly closes our doors to refugees fleeing persecution."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Trump turning away victims of violence and trafficking

Data: USCIS, DOJ, RPC; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

The Trump administration is making it harder for immigrants fleeing violence, persecution and trafficking to stay in the U.S., in the name of getting tough on fraud.

The big picture: There are always cases of fraud in the immigration system, and not everyone who applies for asylum or the T visa, which is for victims of human trafficking, is eligible. But since Trump took office, visa denial rates for asylum and T visas have skyrocketed while the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. has plummeted.

Go deeperArrowJul 26, 2019

Federal judge blocks Trump's new asylum restrictions

U.S. Border Patrol detaining and processing a group of migrants. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images

A California federal judge granted a preliminary injunction on Wednesday to block the Trump administration from denying asylum to migrants at the southern border who do not first apply for protections in at least one other country they've traveled through.

Why it matters: This ruling came hours after a D.C. federal district judge allowed the administration's new rule to stand. The rule would all but block Central Americans from asylum.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jul 25, 2019

Barr moves to restrict asylum claims based on threats to family members

Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr issued an opinion Monday that moves to restrict asylum protections for migrants whose family members have been persecuted in their home countries.

Why it matters: This precedent-setting decision is another attempt by the Trump administration to limit U.S. sanctuary options for asylum-seekers.

Go deeperArrowJul 30, 2019