Suit Seeks Protection of Asylum Seekers

Suit Seeks Protection of Asylum Seekers

The law requires that someone seeking asylum in the United States must file their application for asylum within one year of entering the United States. The law prohibits a person who misses this one-year deadline from pursuing asylum in the United States (with few exceptions).

In June last year, a lawsuit was filed, challenging the government’s failure to provide plaintiffs with adequate notice of the one-year filing deadline for asylum applications. The lawsuit, Mendez-Rojas v. Johnson, seeks to establish a uniform mechanism that ensures asylum seekers have an opportunity to timely fie their applications.

Earlier this week, a federal court in Seattle has granted nationwide class action status to the case. U.S District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez stated that the federal government had not “presented a system whereby putative class members are guaranteed notice of the one-year filing deadline or a mechanism whereby putative class members are assured of the opportunity to timely file their asylum applications.” This class certification includes asylum-seekers who enter the U.S. and express a fear of returning to their home country, and are released from immigration custody in order to pursue asylum claims, but never receive notice that they must file their asylum application within one year of their arrival to the United States. Advocates are hopeful that this ruling is a sign that this issue will be rectified in the near future. To learn more, follow the link below.

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