Public Advocate Letitia James (173020)

New York Attorney General Letitia James, as part of a coalition of 22 attorneys general, has taken legal action to stop the Trump administration’s unlawful attempts to limit immigrants from accessing the nation’s asylum process.

In an amicus brief—filed in support of the plaintiffs in O.A., et al. v. Trump—Attorney General James and the coalition ask the court to uphold a lower court decision that nullified a 2018 Trump administration rule that blocked individuals who did not enter the United States through an official “port of entry” from seeking asylum.

The district court previously voided the regulation, citing federal laws passed by Congress that allow all individuals who seek refuge in the United States to escape persecution in their countries of origin to apply for protection, regardless of how they enter the country.

In 2018, the Trump administration issued the rule in question in an effort to bar individuals and families from applying for asylum if they enter the country outside a legal port of entry. Border officials have allegedly taken part in a number of tactics aimed at unlawfully curbing asylum, including falsely informing individuals that the United States no longer provides asylum, as well as intimidating asylum-seekers by threatening to separate parents from their children if they do not renounce their claims for protection.