Court OKs Deportation of Hundreds of Thousands of Immigrants, Another Says Homeland Security’s Head Might Have No Legal Authority
Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf is likely illegitimate, a federal court says. That means some of the Trump-era asylum rules Wolf presided over are on hold, too.
The appointment of former Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan “was invalid under the agency’s applicable order of succession, and so he lacked the authority to amend the order of succession to ensure Wolf’s installation as Acting Secretary,” wrote Judge Paula Xinis in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland’s opinion, issued Friday (a day after President Donald Trump formally nominated Wolf—who has been acting DHS secretary since November—as the agency’s official head).
“Because Wolf filled the role of Acting Secretary without authority, he promulgated the challenged [asylum] rules also ‘in excess of…authority,’ and not ‘in accordance with the law,'” Xinis continued.
The lawsuit was brought by Casa de Maryland Inc. (CASA), the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP), and three other nonprofit groups, and it challenges 18 DHS rules “that overhaul the criteria for issuing work authorization to asylum applicants,” notes the court’s opinion. “Plaintiffs mount a full-throated attack on the challenged agency rules, invoking the Administrative Procedure Act (‘APA’), the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (‘FVRA’), and the Homeland Security Act (‘HSA’).”
The court concluded that “preliminary injunctive relief” was warranted for both CASA and ASAP (but not the other plaintiffs), temporarily blocking “enforcement of the following rule changes against CASA and ASAP’s members”:
The Timeline Repeal Rule, 85 Fed. Reg. at 37,545 (printing parts of the regulations to be codified at 8 C.F.R. § 208.7(a)(1)); –
The 365-day waiting period, 85 Fed. Reg. at 38,626-28 (referenced throughout and as codified at 8 C.F.R. § 208.3(c)(3); § 208.7(a)(1)(ii), (a)(1)(iii)(E), and (b)(1)(i); and 8 C.F.R. § 274a.12(c)(8)); –
Removal of “deemed-complete” rule, 85 Fed. Reg. at 38,626 (codified at 8 C.F.R. § 208.3); –
The discretionary review rule, providing that agency is no longer required to issue EADs to eligible asylees, 85 Fed. Reg. at 38,628 (changes reflected at 8 C.F.R. § 274a.13(a)(1)); –
The one-year filing bar, 85 Fed. Reg. at 38,626 (codified at 8 C.F.R. § 208.7(a)(1)(iii)(F)); and –
The rule requiring submission of biometric information as part of EAD applications, 85 Fed. Reg. at 38,626 (codified at 8 C.F.R. §§ 208.7(a)(1)(i) and (a)(1)(iv)(E),
It’s a limited reprieve for now, but positive news nonetheless.
Another federal court ruling regarding immigration isn’t so heartening. This one from Monday says the Trump administration can force out hundreds
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