ACLU Comment on Supreme Court Decision to Hear Case Involving Asylum-Seekers’ Access to Federal Courts

October 18, 2019 4:15 pm

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has agreed to review a federal appeals court ruling that concluded asylum-seekers are entitled to federal court review of their expedited removal orders. The case, Thuraissigiam v. USDHS, was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

In March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sided with the ACLU in this case. Asylum-seekers at the border currently receive only a brief screening by administrative officers who determine whether the person has a credible fear of persecution in their home countries. The government’s position is that if an asylum claim is rejected at that stage, the asylum-seeker has no recourse to challenge the decision, or the manner in which it was made, in federal court. The Ninth Circuit disagreed, ruling that asylum-seekers could indeed seek recourse in federal court. The Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court.

Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, had this reaction to today’s Supreme Court action:

“It is a foundational principle of our Constitution that individuals deprived of their liberty have access to a federal court — this includes asylum-seekers whose lives are in danger.”

Sign up to be the first to hear about how to take action.