U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled Wednesday in favor of a group of would-be refugees who sued the Trump administration after their deportation.
It is a significant rebuke to President Donald Trump’s evolving immigration policy.
As Fox News reports, Sullivan first said that the administration was breaching federal law by increasing the threshold for “credible fear claims” that made it more difficult for asylum seekers to claim they were afraid to go back to their homeland. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions introduced the immigration reforms last summer.
Sullivan then ordered the president to bring the deportees back to the United States. (RELATED: Establishment Republicans Tell Supreme Court Trump’s Asylum Ban Is Unlawful)
Sullivan is the same judge who presided over Tuesday’s sentencing hearing of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn where Sullivan accused Flynn of being a rogue within the government.
“The Court holds that it has jurisdiction to hear plaintiffs’ challenges to the credible fear policies, that it has the authority to order the injunctive relief, and that, with the exception of two policies, the new credible fear policies are arbitrary, capricious, and in violation of the immigration laws,” Sullivan concluded.
Sullivan then demanded that “the government to return to the United States the plaintiffs who were unlawfully deported and to provide them with new credible fear determinations consistent with the immigration laws.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, who backed the migrants that sued the Trump administration, are rejoicing over Sullivan’s decision today. (RELATED: ACLU Suing Texas Over Israel Boycott Law)
“This ruling is a defeat for the Trump administration’s all-out assault on the rights of asylum seekers,” Jennifer Chang Newell, managing attorney of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a Wednesday statement reported by Fox. “The government’s attempt to obliterate asylum protections is unlawful and inconsistent with our country’s longstanding commitment to provide protection to immigrants fleeing for their lives.”