The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to prevent his domestic abuse decision from being used for credible fear determinations in expedited removal proceedings.

Sessions is trying to eliminate the need for asylum hearings on applications that are based on improper persecution claims. These meritless cases are contributing to an immigration court backlog crisis. If he is prevented from doing this by issuing precedent decisions to provide guidance on how asylum cases are supposed to be handled, the administration will resort to more extreme measures.

The United States does not have to grant any asylum applications. Asylum is discretionary, and the Supreme Court has held that the president can suspend the entry of aliens into the United States when he finds that their entry “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

The court declined to decide whether “some form of inquiry into the persuasiveness of a president’s finding is appropriate.” It seems unlikely, however, that the court would reject a president’s finding that discretionary asylum grants should be suspended until the immigration court backlog crisis is brought under control because allowing the backlog to continue is detrimental to the interests of the United States.

This would not leave asylum seekers without a way to avoid persecution. Withholding of removal is available too and it is mandatory when eligibility has been established. The main difference in eligibility requirements is that asylum just requires a well-founded fear of persecution, and withholding requires the applicant to establish that it is more likely than not that he will be persecuted.

But withholding does not entitle aliens to remain in the United States. It just prevents them from being deported to a country where they will be persecuted.

The backlog crisis.

Read more at
http://thehill.com/opinion/immigrati...m-applications

Published originally on The Hill.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.