As Asylum Ban Takes Effect, Rights Groups Sue Trump Over Effort to 'Inflict Maximal Cruelty on Vulnerable People'

A coalition of rights groups on Tuesday sued the Trump administration over a “patently unlawful” new rule that legal experts say effectively amounts to a total ban on asylum seekers.

Lee Gelernt, attorney with the ACLU, said in a statement that the rule—which took effect Tuesday—”clearly violates domestic and international law, and cannot stand.”

“This is the Trump administration’s most extreme run at an asylum ban yet,” Gelernt said.

The ACLU joined the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Southern Poverty Law Center in filing the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The groups are demanding an immediate injunction against the asylum rule.

“This is the latest—and deeply dangerous—effort by the Trump administration to inflict maximal cruelty on vulnerable people fleeing desperate conditions for safety here,” said CCR legal director Baher Azmy. “This rule also serves to project the administration’s rejection of the fundamental, international post-war consensus that human rights matter. They still do, and this suit seeks to vindicate their value.”

As Common Dreams reported Monday, the rule sparked immediate outrage from immigrant rights groups when it was unveiled this week, with advocates calling the restrictions “racist” and “outrageous.”