Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals Decision in Favor of Asylum Seekers
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has become the first federal appeals court to declare that asylum seekers who are not afforded the opportunity of a federal review are in violation of the Constitution. This decision came out of the Thuraissigaim v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security case where Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam filed a habeas petition to challenging his expedited removal order.
Like Thuraissigiam, many asylum seekers enter the U.S. with little to no knowledge of the immigration system; many find themselves without representation and are often arrested and held in detention centers without any real guidance to challenge their deportation. Asylum seekers flee their home countries for fear of persecution and enter the U.S. without proper documentation, forcing them into expedited removal proceedings. The credibility of their asylum claims are determined by a single officer with minimal review by an immigration judge. The officers routinely make crucial mistakes when deciding on an applicant’s asylum claim; applicants are not provided thorough explanations of the asylum process or their options, things are not properly translated for the applicant to understand, and the record is not properly documented, leaving little recourse for future appeals.
In the Thuraissigiam case, the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s decision stating that laws limiting federal court review violated the Constitution. The court concluded that Mr. Thuraissigiam and other asylum seekers have the right to challenge their expedited removal process in federal courts.