Frosh continues opposition to federal rule restricting asylum access

BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh on Tuesday joined a multi-state coalition in opposition to the Trump administration’s rule that limits access to the asylum process.

Under the rule, many individuals entering the U.S. at the southern border are no longer able to seek asylum, unless they applied for and were denied protection in at least one other country prior to their arrival.

In an amicus brief, the attorneys general urge the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold the District Courts preliminary injunction that prevented the rule from going into effect.

“This rule essentially criminalizes those who seek asylum in the United States,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Its purpose seems to be to instill fear in those who are already fleeing violence and persecution.”

In the brief, the attorneys general argue that the rule significantly departs from core values enshrined in federal law and harms asylum-seekers and the states that welcome them. The rule requires that asylum-seekers go through an asylum process in another country before they are eligible for asylum in the United States.

Frosh maintains that, in promulgating this rule, the Trump administration also failed to provide adequate notice, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

In a September decision, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the District Court’s nationwide preliminary injunction pending the proceedings that are currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, allowing the rule to be in effect while the case is litigated.

Attorney General Frosh previously signed on to a comment letter dated August 15, 2019, to the U.S. Department of Justice opposing this rule, “Asylum Eligibility and Procedural Modifications.”

In filing Tuesday’s amicus brief, Attorney General Frosh joined the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

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