A half dozen members of the Honduras caravan have filed suit against President Trump and various other federal officials in a putative class action. You can read the complaint, which is venued in the District of Columbia, here. It is largely a Democratic Party screed against the President, with paragraphs like this:
Trump’s professed and enacted policy towards thousands of caravanners seeking asylum in the United States is shockingly unconstitutional. President Trump continues to abuse the law, including constitutional rights, to deter Central Americans from exercising their lawful right to seek asylum in the United States, and the fact that innocent children are involved matters none to President Trump.
You may well be surprised that Hondurans currently located in Mexico have rights under the U.S. Constitution. The complaint appears to be premature at best. But the reality is that asylum represents a massive loophole in our immigration laws. Asylum is supposed to be available to people who face persecution in their home countries on grounds of religion, race, etc. It was never intended to apply wholesale to entire populations on the ground that their country is poorly governed.
But the theory of the caravan (and the lawsuit) is that anyone who makes it to American soil has due process rights as an asylum seeker, meaning, as a practical matter, that he or she has plenty of time to disappear into sanctuary regions like California. Think of it as a kind of legal illegal immigration.
As it happens, Canada, too, is faced with an illegal immigration/refugee epidemic. Reuters headlines: “Exclusive: Canada rushes to deport asylum seekers who walked from U.S.”
Canada is prioritizing the deportation of asylum seekers who walked across the border from the United States illegally, federal agency statistics show, as the Liberal government tries to tackle a politically sensitive issue ahead of an election year.
Why would thousands of alleged refugees from the U.S. be entering Canada? Are they Hollywood celebrities who vowed to leave if Trump was elected? Heh. No:
More than 36,000 people have walked into Canada from the United States to file refugee claims since January 2017, many saying they feared U.S. President Donald Trump’s election promise and policy to crack down on illegal immigration.
So these are illegal immigrants into the U.S. who have now illegally entered Canada and are using the asylum dodge to try to remain. The Canadians aren’t buying it:
Toronto lawyer Lorne Waldman said there were good reasons for accelerating the processing and deportation of people who crossed the border: it deters people with weak claims from making refugee claims in the hopes of living in Canada for years while their case wends through the system.
“The best way of discouraging people from making frivolous claims is by having the claims processed quickly,” Waldman said.
If the Canadians can do it, we can too.