A Portland-based legal group that focuses on immigrant rights is suing the Trump administration over a presidential proclamation barring migrants from seeking asylum if they cross the southern U.S. border outside of designated entry points.
The Innovation Law Lab is one of four plaintiffs attempting to enjoin the presidential proclamation, which was signed by President Donald Trump Friday.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, are seeking a declaration that the new rule violates the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.
Stephen Manning, executive director of Innovation Law Lab, said the proclamation will "immediately create a population of detained individuals who are in danger of immediate removal to countries where their lives are under threat.”
The Trump administration has instead called on asylum seekers to enter the United States through legal ports of entry. Angelo Guisado, a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights and an attorney in the case, said that's virtually impossible. Guisado says potentially thousands of asylum-seekers have been turned away at legal ports of entry because of backlogs forcing asylum-seekers to wait in makeshift encampments in border towns.
"It's no wonder why individuals cross 'unlawfully,'" he said. "It's an impossible Catch-22 situation."
The plaintiffs — East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Al Otro Lado, Innovation Law Lab, and Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles — are represented by the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Guisado said attorneys will move to get the case heard early next week before a judge in San Francisco.
"We presume that either way, the court's ruling will get appealed and will go to the 9th Circuit and duke it out up there," he said.
This is not the first time the Innovation Law Lab has challenged the Trump administration in court. In June, the group joined a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Oregon arguing attorneys have not been able to meet with 121 immigration detainees who were housed at the federal prison in Sheridan, Oregon.