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Migrant mothers, children sue US over asylum ban

More than 125 migrant mothers and children have sued the United States (US) government, claiming the Trump administration has violated the rights of asylum-seekers through the arbitrary and capricious implementation of a virtual asylum ban at the southern border.

A Central American migrant walks past tents in an encampment in Matamoros, Mexico, at the end of the Gateway International Bridge, where migrants sent back under the “Remain in Mexico” program, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), await their U.S. asylum hearings, September 14, 2019. PHOTO: Reuters/Henry Romero

The lawsuit, filed late on Monday, was the first to challenge President Donald Trump over asylum since the US Supreme Court decided last week that an anti-asylum rule will be allowed to take effect while a separate lawsuit on its underlying legality is heard, according to Reuters report.

Unlike other suits that have targeted the asylum rule itself, the latest filing challenges the Trump administration on procedural grounds, saying the government has enacted changes without warning, resulting in elevated rejection rates for asylum-seekers.

With the administration rolling out a series of anti-immigration regulations in rapid succession, asylum-seekers are not being told which of the shifting standards will apply to their cases, said Hassan Ahmad, the lead attorney on the lawsuit.

“What we’re challenging is the haphazard lack of legal procedure. There’s no rhyme or reason to it,” Ahmad said.

The plaintiffs are 126 women and children from 59 families, mostly from the impoverished and violent Central American countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, who were rejected in the early stages of the asylum process while staying at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.

The suit was filed in US District Court in Washington, D.C.

Vanguard Nigerian News.

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