Firm Makes Filings on Behalf of Federal Asylum and Refugee Workers’ Union in Federal Court and Federal Rulemaking Process

August 17, 2020

In August 2020, the Firm continued its longstanding pro bono representation of the National Citizenship and Immigration Council 119, which represents over 14,000 employees of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“Council 119”).  Council 119 has been a steadfast and vocal critic of the Administration’s policies imposing limitations on refugees seeking protection in the United States.

First, on August 3, 2020, the Firm filed an amicus brief on behalf of Council 119 in a lawsuit pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that challenges the Administration’s policy requiring asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico pending adjudication of their asylum applications in the United States.  The brief argued that requiring asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico results in a violation of the U.S. treaty obligations—the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the U.N. Convention Against Torture—as well as federal immigration law.  The brief was filed by Muhammad Faridi, George Fleming, and A. Robert Quirk. 

Second, on August 10, 2020, the Firm submitted comments on behalf of Council 119 in response to a proposed federal rule that seeks to limit asylum during public health emergencies.  The comments argue that the proposed rule is contrary to Congressional intent as set forth in our nation’s immigration laws and, if adopted, would also result in a violation of our international treaty obligations.  According to the comments, “[a]t core, the measures that the proposed rule seeks to implement serve no public health purpose, nor do they advance our country’s national security.  Rather, they are draconian and contrary to our country’s moral fabric and longstanding tradition of providing safe haven to the persecuted.”  The comments were filed by Muhammad Faridi.

To read related press in Law360, please click here and here.

To read related press in CBS News, please click here.