I have uploaded the opinion of the Northern District of California (per Tigar, J.) in the case of East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump. In that case, the Court, last evening, issued a nationwide injunction against enforcement of the rule that, together with Trump’s proclamation, had the effect of making “any alien who enters the United States across the southern border at least over the next ninety days, except at a designated port of entry, is categorically ineligible to be granted asylum.” Slip op. at 6.
I post judicial opinions because I think that it’s important to have easy access to source documents. Judicial opinions often set forth the rationale underlying the action taken by the court in meticulous detail. I think (hope?) that by allowing wide access to these opinions, the qualitative level of debate about the matters of public debate will be raised, mitigating to some extent, the tendency of debates to descend into shouting matches.
With respect to Judge Tigar’s opinion in this case, in 37 pages he carefully discusses (i) the principles underlying the standing of the plaintiffs to bring the action, (ii) the precise substantive questions at issue, (iii) the standards applicable to the issuance of injunctions, and (iv) the reasons that a nationwide injunction is appropriate. However, Judge Tigar’s opinion rests on those broad principles set forth in the first two paragraphs:
The Immigration and Naturalization Act (“INA”) “deals with one of the oldest and most important themes in our Nation’s history: welcoming homeless refugees to our shores,” and it “give[s] statutory meaning to our national commitment to human rights and humanitarian concerns.” 125 Cong. Rec. 23231-32 (Sept. 6, 1979). As part of that commitment, Congress has clearly commanded in the INA that any alien who arrives in the United States, irrespective of that alien’s status, may apply for asylum – “whether or not at a designated port of arrival.” 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a)(1).
Notwithstanding this clear command, the President has issued a proclamation, and the Attorney General and the Department of Homeland Security have promulgated a rule, that allow asylum to be granted only to those who cross at a designated port of entry and deny asylum to those who enter at any other location along the southern border of the United States.