On March 29, 2018, a federal district court judge granted Summary Judgement on behalf of plaintiffs who were blocked from filing their asylum claims. In the ruling, Judge Ricardo S. Martinez held that the government's failure to furnish sufficient notice of the general one-year filing deadline violated portions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, and the 5th Amendment Due Process clause. The upshot is that the Department of Homeland Security must now adopt and provide notice of the one-year filing deadline to all current and future class members who have been affected by the government's dereliction. Additionally, the government has been ordered to adopt and publicize "uniform procedural mechanisms" that enable all class members to file their asylum cases in a timely manner.
A refugee may flee his/her country for any number of reasons in order to seek protection from the United States, one of the last bastions of freedom and liberty in the world. However, in order to warrant legal protection and the ability to stay here under our immigration laws, the individual must ordinarily meet the legal definition of refugee as found in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Section §101(a)(42). An applicant will be eligible and qualify for asylum from their native country if he/she can demonstrate past or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Of these different categories, membership in a particular social group is one of the more complex ones, subject to much interpretation, as obviously borne out by much of the asylum-based litigation.