Conchita Cruz Celebrates Win for Asylum Seekers

Fellow Conchita Cruz (‘18), Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director of Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP), celebrated a win from the District Court of Maryland where Judge Paula Xinis issued a preliminary injunction enjoining provisions of two new immigration rules that would limit asylum seekers’ ability to obtain work authorization. The court found Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf had likely been improperly appointed under DHS’ succession rules and thus lacked authority to issue immigration policies. The court’s ruling temporarily shields members of Casa de Maryland Inc. and the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project from some of the work permit restrictions, including a 365 day waiting period after filing an asylum petition before applying for work authorization (“Md. Judge Finds Wolf Likely Appointed Illegally At DHS,” Law360, Sept. 12). Conchita was quoted by CBS News prior to the recent ruling: “It does not make sense to put hurdles in the way of asylum applicants getting work authorization and being able to work legally and being able to support their family — especially during a global pandemic. That flies in the face of any other goal of ensuring that asylum applicants are able to work and sustain themselves.” (“U.S. Restricts Work Permits for Asylum-Seekers, Raising Fears of Homelessness and Hunger,” Aug. 25)