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The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration over President Biden’s new executive action restricting migrants’ ability to seek asylum at the US border in certain circumstances.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Texas-based advocacy groups “Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center” and the “Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services,” comes when the border issue presents a significant challenge for President Biden. Record numbers of migrants and public disapproval of his handling of the situation have intensified the political stakes. The Biden administration’s rules, announced last week, prohibit asylum claims when daily border encounters exceed 2,500, a figure that could trigger automatic restrictions until numbers fall below 1,500 for a consecutive two-week period. Trump’s similar policy required all asylum seekers to remain in Mexico or their country of origin while their cases were adjudicated.

In court documents, the ACLU argues that the actions unlawfully prevent migrants from seeking asylum when border crossings surge. The lead attorney for the lawsuit, Lee Gelernt, said that the executive action taken by Biden is similar to action taken by Former President Donald Trump, which aimed to block asylum seekers from entering the US between ports of entry.

The ACLU’s lawsuit also claims that the new rule breaches legal protocols for rulemaking within agencies and that there was no adequate justification for such a significant departure from previous practices. Despite these allegations, the lawsuit did not request an immediate injunction to halt the rule’s enforcement. However, Gelernt mentioned that this could be pursued in the future if specific migrants are adversely affected.

In response to the lawsuit, the Biden administration has expressed readiness to defend the new rules, maintaining that the executive action was necessary after Republicans rejected a bipartisan legislative compromise.


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