U.S. Can’t Issue Blanket Denial To Asylum-Seeking Iranians, Judge Rules

U.S. Can’t Issue Blanket Denial To Asylum-Seeking Iranians, Judge Rules
July 12, 2018 Elijah James Logan

A federal judge in California has ordered the Trump administration to reconsider the asylum requests of nearly 90 Iranian refugees — overruling the blanket denial the government had issued to all of them. Instead, the Department of Homeland Security must disclose individual reasons for the denials, which allows the claimants to file an appeal. The mass denial, issued Feb. 18, left the group marooned in Vienna with an uncertain future after they had abandoned homes and jobs to reunite with close relatives in the U.S. The Iranians had traveled to Vienna from Tehran at the invitation of the U.S. government to complete their refugee applications as part of a unique refugee program with rules set by Congress in 2004. Most of them have been stranded for about a year. “The court ordered the government to reissue the notices within 14 days,” says Mariko Hirose, who is director of litigation for the International Refugee Assistance Project in New York and who argued for the plaintiffs in court.

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