CASA v. Wolf: ASAP’s federal lawsuit defending asylum seekers’ ability to work

Last updated on September 15, 2020.

On July 21, 2020, the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) filed a federal lawsuit to protect asylum seekers’ ability to work legally in the United States: CASA v. Wolf. The lawsuit challenges new rules enacted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that limit the ability of asylum seekers to obtain work authorization.

The case also addresses a major issue of democratic legitimacy, which has been raised by Congress and the media: the fact that Chad Wolf is serving unlawfully in his role as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security. As such, Chad Wolf lacked the authority to issue these new rules in the first place, and so they should be vacated.

On September 11, 2020, Judge Paula Xinis issued a preliminary injunction in the case. She held that Chad Wolf was likely illegally appointed, and temporarily barred the government from enforcing parts of the new work restrictions on members of ASAP and co-organizational plaintiff CASA.

ASAP brought this case along with co-plaintiffs CASA, Centro Legal de la Raza, Oasis Legal Services, and Pangea Legal Services. The case was filed in the District of Maryland and is co-counseled by ASAP, the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), and the law firm Gibson Dunn, LLP.

Legal Updates for Asylum Seekers

  • If you ARE a member of ASAP or CASA, please read this post to understand your eligibility for work authorization.
  • If you ARE NOT a member of ASAP or CASA, please read this post to understand your eligibility for work authorization.

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