An Unexpected and Extraordinarily Harmful Decision: The "Third Country Asylum Ban"

TASSC deeply laments the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court, in East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Barr, to allow the President’s “third country asylum ban” to go into effect. In yet another move to dismantle the asylum process for migrants fleeing torture and persecution, in July the Trump administration issued an interim federal rule which makes ineligible for asylum any asylum seeking migrant whom, en route to the United States, passed through a third country and did not seek asylum in that third country.

There was an immediate legal challenge to the draconian “third country asylum ban” by immigrant and refugee rights groups. A federal district judge enjoined the rule, or stopped it, from taking effect pending further legal proceedings that would ultimately determine the validity of such a rule. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit narrowed the scope of the federal district judge’s order such that the “third country asylum ban” rule could take effect everywhere in the country except California and Arizona. Immediately thereafter, the Trump administration appealed the decision of the Ninth Circuit to the United States Supreme Court.

In an unexpected and extraordinarily harmful decision, the Supreme Court granted a stay of, or stopped the, emergency preliminary injunction (the injunction which stopped the “third country asylum ban” from taking effect) put in place by the lower courts. This means that, while the legal underpinning of the Trump administration’s new “third country asylum ban” rule is analyzed by the Courts, the Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to go forward with casting out asylum seeking migrants who passed through a third country and did not apply for asylum in that third country.

TASSC firmly stands by our survivors and stands with all migrants fleeing torture and persecution who come to the United States seeking a safe haven. TASSC condemns this injurious decision by the Supreme Court and will continue to passionately serve those fleeing torture and work to help survivors establish a safe and fruitful life in the United States.

TASSC International