Judge’s Ruling on Credible Fear Standard Amounts to ‘Judicial Coup d’état,’ Says FAIR
(December 19, 2018, Washington, D.C.) — The following statement was issued by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) regarding today’s ruling blocking the Trump administration’s efforts to prevent abuse of our political asylum laws.
“Today, yet another activist judge intervened in the ability of the Executive Branch to effectively carry out U.S. asylum policies and prevent people from offering specious ‘credible fear’ claims as a means to gain entry to the United States.
“In his ruling, Judge Emmet Sullivan wrote that,‘It is the will of Congress – not the whims of the Executive – that determines the standard for expedited removal.’ Actually, it appears that in Judge Sullivan’s opinion, that in determining these matters it is his own whims that should set the standard.
“When former Attorney General Jeff Sessions acted earlier this year to narrow the grounds for ‘credible fear’ claims, he was not acting on a whim. He was not even making new policy. Sessions was restoring the ‘credible fear’ standard to what it was prior to 2014. It was a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (), under the Obama administration, that expanded the grounds for seeking political asylum in the United States to include non-political circumstances like fear of an abusive spouse or generalized violence in one’s homeland.
“As a result of the decision of the Obama Executive Branch in 2014, U.S. asylum claims based on non-political ‘credible fear’ claims have spiked, leading to massive gridlock in the judicial system and rampant asylum abuse. The widespread abuse of the system is evident in the fact that just nine percent of Central American asylum seekers are ultimately granted formal asylum.
This spring’s ruling by former Attorney General Sessions, now blocked by Judge Sullivan, had restored the integrity of our political asylum process and the intent of Congress. Moreover, the current administration clearly has the constitutional authority to restore a ‘credible fear’ standard to what it was just four years ago.
“The rash of judicial rulings by rogue jurists like Judge Sullivan amounts to a judicial coup d’état that is endangering not just the integrity of our immigration policies, but the bedrock foundations of our republic.
“We urge the Trump Administration to appeal this ruling.”
Contact: Matthew Tragesser, 202-328-7004