Immigrants who are applying for asylum in California or anywhere else in the United States will file either an affirmative or defensive application. Those who are filing an affirmative asylum application must do so within a year of the last time that they arrived in America. Furthermore, they must be in the United States when they apply for asylum. After filing Form I-589 with the United States Custom and Immigration Services (USCIS), a hearing will be scheduled.
Asylum seekers approaching the border of California received some positive news when a federal judge ruled that new asylum policies from the U.S. Department of Justice violated existing law. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions had imposed the new policies earlier in the year to eliminate domestic or gang violence as acceptable threats for people seeking asylum. The policies had also called for the expedited removal of immigrants requesting asylum.
Many California residents are troubled by the pronouncements about immigration policies made by President Trump, including reports that he plans to at least partially shut down the asylum process in response to the migrant caravan traveling through Mexico. The administration has openly said that it is using the immigration issue as a means of encouraging voter turnout for Republicans in the midterm elections, so it is unclear to what extent the administration will work to act on these statements following Nov. 6. If the Trump administration attempts to stop the asylum process, it will be likely be challenged in federal court.
Many advocates in Colorado and across the country have expressed rising concerns about the Trump administration's approach to immigration policy, especially on refugee and asylum issues. Legal action in multiple venues has followed a wave of intense enforcement, including one lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The suit alleges that the administration acted illegally by deliberately restricting access to the asylum process at entry ports on the border between the United States and Mexico.
The fate of immigrants seeking asylum in California and other states has been placed in the hands of the federal government and the American Civil Liberties Union. A federal judge ruled on Aug. 17 that they must create a plan to address parents and children separated at the border with Mexico. On Aug. 16, a judge froze the deportations of parents and children who had been reunified after initially being separated.
Many people in California and across the country have closely followed the ongoing cases in federal court challenging actions taken by the Trump administration to deport asylum seekers. On Aug. 9, one federal judge harshly condemned the administration's actions when he learned that two of the people impacted by the case he was overseeing were facing deportation at that moment. The two were on a plane to El Salvador at the time of the hearing; however, the district court judge blocked their deportation. The plane was turned around on the ground in El Salvador and returned to Texas.
Immigrant advocates gathered at the headquarters of the Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network to rally together with community members and faith leaders against the Trump administration and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy of separating children from their parents. The rally was held on June 1.
Colorado residents might be interested in learning that the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the federal government because of detentions of asylum seekers. The lawsuit was filed on May 17 in federal court against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.