Members of the migrant caravan have filed a lawsuit against President Trump and his administration because they claim to have been denied of their constitutional rights.
You read that right: The group which has ignored international borders and is seeking entry into the United States—legal or not, it seems—has members which are now suing President Trump for denying them entry.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, from the migrant caravan, claim to be asylum seekers looking to challenge their designation by the Trump administration as people seeking to enter the country illegally.
Here’s more on the lawsuit, via Fox News:
A dozen migrants traveling by foot from Honduras to the U.S. to seek asylum filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday against President Trump, the Department of Homeland Security and others, claiming a violation of their due process under the Fifth Amendment.
The Fifth Amendment states that, “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.”
Twelve Honduran nationals, including six children, are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The suit, which was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., said it is widely known that Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are “undergoing a well-documented human rights crisis.” The lawsuit also claims that the plaintiffs’ right to the Administrative Procedures Act and the Declaratory Judgement Act were being infringed upon.
A recent PBS report states that much of the U.S. Constitution applies to people that are not citizens of the country, but which are on U.S. soil:
“Yes, without question,” said Cristina Rodriguez, a professor at Yale Law School. “Most of the provisions of the Constitution apply on the basis of personhood and jurisdiction in the United States.”
Many parts of the Constitution use the term “people” or “person” rather than “citizen.” Rodriguez said those laws apply to everyone physically on U.S. soil, whether or not they are a citizen.
So, what does the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment say?
The Fifth Amendment reads: “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.”
In the 1993 Reno v. Flores case, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, “it is well established that the Fifth Amendment entitles aliens to due process of law in deportation proceedings.”
The twelve plaintiffs (six adults and some parents of the adults suing on behalf of their children) are suing President Trump, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); and, Thomas Homan, the Acting Director of ICE; Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Kevin McAleenan, Acting Commissioner of CBP, and L. Francis Cissna, the Director of USCIS.
Fox News reports the Trump administration could run into a number of legal issues with defending the southern border via the use of military troops:
There is another legal issue at stake, according to the lawsuit. The U.S. cannot send troops into Mexico to cut off the caravan from crossing the border, it said. Even with the National Guard at the border, once an immigrant indicates an intention to apply for asylum, the suit maintained the process has begun.
Immigrants who are seeking asylum must be referred for a “credible fear interview,” for which an asylum officer would determine if the immigrant has a “credible fear of persecution,” the lawsuit said. If the officer makes that determination, then there is a significant chance for the asylum-seeker to be granted asylum, according to the suit.
Here’s what some people are saying online about the lawsuit: