Twelve of the migrants traveling from Honduras to the United States via the well-publicized caravan have filed a class action lawsuit against the U.S. government, claiming that their constitutional rights have been violated by the Trump administration. Named in the lawsuit are President Trump, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal agencies that have declared the border closed to illegal immigrants traveling with the caravan. The suit states that asylum seekers are being denied their right to due process under the Fifth Amendment.
While there is Supreme Court precedent for constitutional rights being extended to illegal immigrants while they are being processed through deportation orders, it’s not clear that the U.S. Constitution provides any relief for illegal immigrants currently making their way through Mexico.
To the best of our judgment, this looks like a blatant political stunt by left-wing activists who are providing aid and comfort to the traveling migrants. There is no way that this is a serious lawsuit meant to actually win over the U.S. District Court in Washington. Granted, there have been a lot of bad courtroom decisions against the Trump administration over the last couple of years, but this is surely a step beyond even those.
In the suit, lawyers for the plaintiffs accuse the president of engendering “fear and hysteria” about the migrant caravan with references to criminals, gang members, and Middle Easterners who have joined the pack. They do not bother to tell the court that all of these are true.
“Federal law enables migrants to apply for asylum in the United States. President Trump and his administration have used ‘increased enforcement,’ like separating families and lengthening detention to violate migrant rights,” said Mike Donovan of Nexus Services, the organization putting up the money for the lawsuit.
We don’t understand what this lawsuit could possibly accomplish, especially when we still have weeks to go before the caravan reaches our border. However, despite all the tough talk from Trump and his administration officials, we have a bad feeling that anyone in this caravan who comes into the U.S. through an official checkpoint will be allowed to enter. They will be detained and processed for asylum, but this is going to put an extraordinary strain on our already-thin resources at the border. It may be completely impossible for the government to house all of these migrants, no matter how many tents they roll out.
To say this is a mess is to understate the problem considerably.