Migrants in the U.S.-bound caravan from Honduras who plan to seek asylum have began filing lawsuits against the Trump Administration and U.S. government over violations of constitutional rights.
At least a dozen migrants have joined a class-action lawsuit on Thursday, accusing President Donald Trump and U.S. federal agencies of violating their right to due process guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment, Fox News reported Friday.
NEW: Lawsuit filed tonight in DC federal court on behalf of migrants who say they’re traveling to the United States to seek asylum, alleging the Trump admin is unconstitutionally detaining asylum seekers and trying to deny them entry https://t.co/dVD0qVgTIr pic.twitter.com/4xNozDMBQm
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) November 2, 2018
According to the Fifth Amendment, “No person… shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
The lawsuit alleges that Trump’s plan to use the military in blocking the migrant caravan from entering the U.S. is an act that violates the migrants’ right of due process while they seek asylum.
“President Trump continues to abuse the law, including constitutional rights, to deter Central Americans from exercising their lawful right to seek asylum in the United States, and the fact that innocent children are involved matters none to President Trump,” the lawsuit alleges, according to the Washington Examiner.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by 12 Honduras natives – six mothers and their six children. The suit requests an urgent judgment, citing the “well-documented human rights crisis” in Central American countries.
The document also cites a 1993 Supreme Court ruling in which Justice Antonin Scalia decided “it is well established that the Fifth Amendment entitles aliens to due process of law in a deportation proceeding.”
Additionally, the document cites the Flores Agreement, a human rights agreement that requires the safe housing of migrant children, which requires the use of “facilities run by licensed programs” that also must “provide access to toilets and sinks, drinking water … adequate temperature control and ventilation, adequate supervision to protect minors from others, and contact with family.”
This challenges Trump’s plan to build “tent cities” along to the border to house migrants as they seek asylum.
“We’re going to build tent cities. We’re going to put tents up all over the place … and they’re going to wait,” President Trump has said, noting that the migrants would be housed in the tents until their trials could be held.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 30, 2018
He also said those who seek asylum will be required to “lawfully present themselves” to authorities at U.S. ports of entry. U.S. troops aren’t permitted to enter Mexico, and will be required by law to conduct “credible fear interviews” with migrants at the border to assess the legitimacy of their request for asylum.
Up to 15,000 troops could be deployed to the border, Trump said this week. At least 7,000 troops are expected to be deployed there already in preparation for the caravan’s arrival. The caravan was comprised of an estimated 7,000 people, but some estimates have dropped to 4,000 as some of the caravan has dropped off or taken asylum in Mexico.