On Tuesday, April 16, 2019, Attorney General William Barr released an immigration decision applying to migrants who have established "a credible fear of persecution or torture" in their home country. The decision orders immigration judges to prevent migrant asylum seekers from posting bond while awaiting trial. President Donald Trump has criticized the former immigration policy allowing the posting of bond as a "catch and release" system. The American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project claims that "this decision will result in the unlawful jailing of thousands of people who should not be behind bars."
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held on Thursday that the constitutional guarantee of habeas corpus precludes US immigration authorities from deporting asylum seekers who had failed an initial screening. This ruling sets up a circuit split (with the Third Circuit, which came to the opposite conclusion in 2016), which makes review by the US Supreme Court likely.
On Wednesday, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a permanent injunction against the federal government to prevent it from continuing its asylum policies announced last summer by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. According to Judge Sullivan, all but two of the policies violated the Immigration and Naturalization Act, and as such, he ordered the government “to return to the United States the plaintiffs who were unlawfully deported and to provide them with new credible fear determinations consistent with the immigration laws.”
Federal Court Blocks Trump Administration From Denying Asylum to Immigrants Who Cross Border Illegally
Judge Jon S. Tigar of the US District Court for the Northern District of California temporarily blocked the government on Monday night from denying asylum to immigrants who illegally cross the southern border of the United States. In his decision, Judge Tigar wrote that barring asylum for immigrants who enter outside of legal check points "irreconcilably conflicts" with immigration law and the "expressed intent of Congress."