Victory – Wait in Mexico Policy Upheld

Press Releases

May 8, 2019

Ninth Circuit finds administration likely to prevail

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday that the Trump Administration’s policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico to wait for their asylum hearings in that country, rather than in the U.S., likely did not violate either the Immigration and Nationality Act or the Administrative Procedure Act. Accordingly, the appellate court stayed the injunction a California district court had entered against the policy, allowing the policy to continue pending the full appeal on the merits. The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has been involved in the case since it was before the district court and was the only group to submit a brief supporting the government.

“This is definitely a victory for the administration,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “What it means is that the administration can go on returning asylum applicants who are flooding our border to Mexico, and doesn’t have to go back to catching and releasing them into the U.S., where most would just disappear, never showing up for any hearings. And if the government prevails on the merits, which the Court yesterday said was likely, the policy will continue long-term,” Wilcox added. “That should have a strong deterrent effect on bogus asylum claims. The last thing those making them want is to wait in Mexico for years, only to lose their eventual asylum hearing and be sent back home. Unclogging the system of these bogus claims will give a chance to those truly eligible for asylum – victims of tyranny abroad.”

The case is Innovation Law Lab v. McAleenan, No. 19-15716 (Ninth Circuit).

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • blonergan@irli.org

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