In July, the Trump administration announced a new policy that would categorically deny asylum to anyone transiting through a third country on their way to the U.S. southern border in search of safety. In effect, this would exclude most Central Americans and any other asylum seekers who transited through Mexico from finding the safety they need. Conditions in many parts of Mexico, especially along the border, remain unsafe for both asylum seekers and the country’s own citizens. The IRC denounced this policy as inhumane and possibly illegal, highlighting the ways that it would expose already vulnerable people to even further suffering.
In the months since, this policy has been challenged in the courts. In support of these efforts, the IRC joined a group of twenty-four NGOs and law school clinics in filing an amicus curiae (or “friend of the court”) brief in support of legal efforts to block implementation of the policy. The brief states that “the administration’s new rule is patently unlawful in flagrant violation of the United States’ bedrock domestic and international obligations to protect the persecuted.” It goes on to argue that “this complete ban would eviscerate the U.S. asylum system, stripping this life saving protection for all non-Mexican asylum seekers entering at the southern border.”