Saturday, March 2, 2024

Federal Judge Lashes Out at Biden DOJ Over ‘colluding’ with Activists on Major Immigration Case; 9th Circuit Judge Chastises DOJ for ‘Abrupt About-Face’ in Case Challenging Asylum Policy; Judge Torches Biden Admin for 'colluding' with Activist Group on Asylum Rule: 'Frenemies'

AP Photo/Moises Castillo, File
Federal judge lashes out at Biden DOJ over ‘colluding’ with activists on major immigration case:
A federal appeals court judge berated the Biden administration on Wednesday for seemingly underhanded legal tactics in a key immigration case, accusing the Justice Department of “colluding” with the ACLU and other immigrant rights advocates to surrender a major new get-tough policy.
Circuit Judge Lawrence VanDyke said the Biden team seemed to be trying to derail the case so it didn’t reach the Supreme Court and unravel years of migrant-friendly rulings out of the famously liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The judge said the administration may be trying to avoid a politically embarrassing loss, or it may be engaged in a subterfuge where it is working with the activists to try to get an outcome that would tie the hands of a future president who was more interested in stiff enforcement.
Whatever the motive, he said, the government is involved in political shenanigans.
“At the very least it looks like the administration and its frenemies on the other side of this case are colluding to avoid playing their politically fraught game during an election year,” wrote Judge VanDyke, a Trump appointee.
At issue is an asylum policy the government announced last year. It tightens the rules on who can claim protection based on whether asylum seekers had a chance to make a claim in another country en route to the U.S.
The thinking is that an actual refugee fleeing government persecution could claim asylum in the first country it comes to. That suggests those who cross several Central American nations and Mexico on their way to the U.S. are more like traditional migrants than asylum seekers.
Immigrant rights groups recoiled at the rule and sued to stop it. --->READ MORE HERE
Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM
9th Circuit Judge Chastises DOJ for ‘Abrupt About-Face’ in Case Challenging Asylum Policy
Judge Lawrence VanDyke of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday accused the Biden administration of having “wholly political” reasons and no legal basis for agreeing to pause a challenge to its rule restricting asylum amid settlement talks with the challengers.
VanDyke, who joined the bench in 2020, dissented to an order allowing the appeal to be held in abeyance pending settlement negotiations with status updates every 60 days. He called the government’s agreement to pause the litigation an “abrupt about-face.”
In August, the Ninth Circuit panel—which includes Vandyke and Judges William Fletcher and Richard Paez—allowed the asylum ban to remain in effect pending resolution of the litigation brought by public interest groups including the Immigrant Defenders Law Center and East Bay Sanctuary Covenant.
The immigration rule prohibits migrants from being eligible for U.S. asylum if they passed through countries en route to the United States without first seeking asylum there, with some exceptions. The federal government has argued the regulation is needed to fend off an influx of people arriving at the border.
“Either [the government] previously lied to this court by exaggerating the threat posed by vacating the rule, or it is now hiding the real reason it wants to hold this case in abeyance,” VanDyke wrote in his dissent. --->READ MORE HERE

+++++Federal judge torches Biden admin for 'colluding' with activist group on asylum rule: 'Frenemies'+++++

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