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EBSC v. Attorney General Barr

$15,780.00 raised
GOAL: $20,000.00

EBSC Plaintiff in New Lawsuit against Trump Administration


#Protect Asylum!


BREAKING NEWS: On Monday, December 2, 2019, the Ninth Circuit heard arguments on EBSC v. Barr, the so-called “Transit Ban” that makes it virtually impossible for anyone who is not Mexican to seek asylum at the southern border. The panel of judges asked good, hard questions of the government on our claims that the transit ban conflicts with the asylum statute and that it is arbitrary and capricious. We are cautiously optimistic about getting a favorable decision on the merits of the case from the Ninth Circuit. However, even if we win before the Ninth Circuit and they affirm the decision to award a preliminary injunction, the transit ban will be in effect until the government files its cert petition with the Supreme Court and the Court either denies the petition or grants it and sets the case for argument.


On July 16, 2019, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant joined the ACLU and others in yet another federal lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s latest attack on asylum protections.

We are proud to one of the plaintiffs and will continue to fight to support people’s fundamental human right to seek asylum.

 We joined this lawsuit because this administration’s relentless attacks on asylum law are illegal, immoral, and would have a devastating and long-lasting impact on the thousands of low-income asylum seekers we serve every year – people who deserve safety and protection.

EBSC was founded in 1982 as part of the Sanctuary Movement with a mission to help people fleeing from horrific civil wars in Central America.  We have one of the largest affirmative asylum programs in the country, serving people from over 60 countries.

“President Trump’s attack on asylum law is illegal and a usurpation of the power of Congress to make our laws. It is ignorant of this administration to think that these people are not deserving of legal asylum -- over 97% of our asylum clients are approved by the U.S. government, proving that their claims are meritorious. Moreover, people who have fled violence in their home countries are not safe in Guatemala or Mexico, where they are vulnerable to persecutors, trafficking, violence, and discrimination,” says EBSC Managing Attorney, Kaveena Singh.

The Trump administration’s policies are racist and xenophobic, harming primarily refugees of color who are fleeing atrocious persecution and violence that have often been caused or exacerbated by U.S. government policies. We will continue to update our Advocacy Page with breaking news and ways to take action.  Also, please follow EBSC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Please join East Bay Sanctuary Covenant in speaking out against the Trump administration’s attacks on the legal right to seek asylum. 


EBSC reaffirms our commitment to support people’s fundamental human right to seek asylum.


Facts about the Third Country Transit Ban Lawsuit

 “Trump’s new policy would have a huge and detrimental impact on hundreds of Bay Area asylum applicants. Since 1982, we have helped vulnerable populations — victims of gender-based violence, indigenous Guatemalans, LGBT individuals, and unaccompanied children —obtain asylum. Our clients deserve safety and protection under U.S. and international asylum law.”

- Michael Smith, EBSC’s Director of Refugee Rights


  • Trump’s policy is illegal and usurps the power of Congress to make laws. Seeking asylum is clearly protected under U.S. and international asylum law.
  • The new asylum rule -- which denies asylum protection to most migrants arriving at the U.S. border unless they first applied in a country they transited through – would have disastrous consequences for tens of thousands of people seeking safety. As stated by our co-plaintiff Al Otro Lado, “This regulation takes a hatchet to asylum law and protections for refugees around the world. So many people are going to die because of this.”  Nora Phillips, Al Otro Lado’s Legal Director and Co-Founder.
  • EBSC’s asylum clients are fleeing horrific violence in their home countries. EBSC has one of the largest affirmative asylum programs in the U.S. and has successfully helped almost 4,000 people to obtain asylum. The ACLU recognized how critical EBSC is in blocking this immoral and illegal policy.
  • It is ignorant of the Trump administration to think that these people are “gaming the system.” In fact, over 97% of EBSC’s asylum cases are approved, showing that these claims are meritorious. These are people fleeing persecution and seeking safety under the law.
  • Contrary to what the administration is claiming, this population is not safe in Guatemala or Mexico, where they are vulnerable to their persecutors and other forms of oppression. Many of EBSC’s clients, including LGBTQ people and survivors of gender-based violence, are fleeing persecution in Mexico. As stated by co-plaintiff Innovation Law Lab, "The policy intends to force those fleeing persecution to remain in dangerous third countries even though they do NOT meet the international standards required to enter a “safe third-country” agreement with the United States."
  • Asylum seekers crossing the U.S. southern border are not only from Central America. They may be from Russia, Africa, and Asia; some have traveled through South America, the jungles of Panama and Central America, with the hopes of reaching safety.
  • Nearly all of EBSC clients are victims of atrocious forms of persecution – 80% have been raped or sexually abused, including male and female children.
  • Going forward, 50% of EBSC clients would be unable to apply for asylum. The ramifications of the Trump administration’s actions will be long-reaching for people who are genuinely deserving of asylum protection. EBSC’s 37-year old asylum program reaching the most traumatized populations would be terminated.

Act Now!

  • Write your congressional representatives!
  • Join EBSC’s social media networks. Share accurate news and articles so more people are informed of the detrimental impact of these attacks on asylum law.
  • Support EBSC by volunteering or donating – your support matters!
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