In response to a request from Immigration Equality, Lambda Legal, and Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order on Jan. 8 blocking, in its entirety, a Trump administration rule that would have made it virtually impossible for all refugeesincluding those who are LGBTQ or living with HIVto secure asylum in the United States, according to a Lambda Legal press release.
Judge James Donato wrote, "In effect, the government keeps crashing the same car into a gate, hoping that someday it might break through. … But our system has no room for relitigating the same facts and law in successive district court cases ad infinitum... Plaintiffs provide legal services and other assistance to those seeking asylum and similar protections from persecution or violence in their home countries. They have provided ample evidence that if enacted, the Rule would harm this mission. … A nationwide injunction is warranted."
Immigration Equality v. Department of Homeland Security was filed on behalf of plaintiffs Immigration Equality, Oasis Legal Services, The TransLatin@ Coalition, Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project, and Transgender Law Center.
Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan said, "The rule is rooted in xenophobia and cruelty. It also is a haphazard attempt to enact a sweeping and unworkable overhaul of our asylum system, without adequate justification or compliance with the law. Lives are at stake and we are relieved that the court has put this abhorrent policy on hold while we continue to make our case. We are gratified by the Court's quick action and confident that these attempted changes will never take effect."
The full order is at www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/immigrationequality_us_20210108_order-re-preliminary-injunction .