U.S. Border Security Now in Supreme Court’s Hands

Press Releases

December 17, 2018

IRLI brief supports Trump’s right to act on ‘caravan’

WASHINGTON—The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) today filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing against a lower court ruling that blocked the Trump administration’s response to the “caravan” of would-be illegal aliens from Central America that recently marched to our southern border.

The suit was originally filed by the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, an anti-borders nonprofit representing a group of similar organizations. The plaintiffs are suing on their own behalf, not an alien. The groups claim that the new rule will disrupt their operations, and that this threat of disruption gives them standing to challenge the rule in court. But IRLI has shown in its briefs that because the asylum statute was not written to protect the interests of nonprofits, they should not be allowed to “enforce” that statute in court.

“The decisions below have blocked the President’s and the Acting Attorney General’s chosen method of dealing with a national crisis on our southern border,” today’s brief stated. “Whether one views the current crisis at the border as the result of large-scale abuse of the asylum process or merely of a massive increase in the numbers of asylum seekers, the lower courts’ injunctive relief poses vital questions about the terms of the asylum statute at issue here,” which the Supreme Court must address.

Faced with the recent “caravan,” the Trump Administration has made those who cross the southern border, except at a designated port of entry, ineligible for asylum. Until the present change, border crossers caught by the border patrol and claiming asylum have been routinely released into the United States with court dates, months or years in the future, for asylum proceedings most do not even show up for. For hundreds of thousands of Central Americans, claiming asylum has been used as a free pass to live illegally in places such as New York City and Maryland.

“The caravan that marched to Tijuana seeks to violate America’s sovereignty on a massive scale,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “The current president—any president—is constitutionally empowered to take action and address such a crisis. The goal of these plaintiff groups is to effectively handcuff the chief executive and give waves of unvetted foreign nationals the right to enter the country. IRLI will continue to oppose such efforts and defend the rights of Americans and their communities.”

The case is East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump, No. 18A615 (S. Ct.)

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • [email protected]

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