Wyden, Merkley & Colleagues File Amicus Brief

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have filed an amicus brief supporting a lawsuit filed by six asylum seekers in the D.C. District Court challenging the legality of Donald Trump’s Presidential Proclamation and rule effectively barring all asylum claims outside of ports of entry.

The Oregon senators on Thursday joined Sens. Patrick Leahy, Sheldon Whitehouse, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris to argue in their court filing as part of O.A. v. Trump that Trump’s executive action contravenes unambiguously clear provisions in statute protecting the right of migrants to apply for asylum anywhere along U.S. borders. They describe in the brief that the Proclamation is an unlawful attempt to override overwhelmingly bipartisan congressional intent – reaffirmed repeatedly, over decades – by executive fiat, and that it abandons the historic role of the United States as a refuge for those fleeing violence and persecution in the face of humanitarian crises in the Northern Triangle of Central America.

“My parents fled the horrors of Nazi Germany for the safety and promise of the United States,” said Wyden. “Providing refuge for ‘huddled masses yearning to breathe free’ is America’s legacy, and Donald Trump’s illegal asylum ban cannot wipe it away.”

“The Trump Administration’s efforts to deter asylum seekers from our border—by putting them in child or family prisons and blocking them from declaring asylum—is un-American and inhumane,” said Merkley. “Many of these people are fleeing deadly violence in their home countries, and have the international right to seek asylum. Yet the president is making every effort to throw roadblocks in front of them. We cannot let this administration undermine our American values as a nation of freedom and hope.”

The full text of the court filing can be found here.

A web version of this release is available here.