The Absurd Migrant Caravan Lawsuit



Six Honduran nationals and their minor children, who are members of the migrant caravan currently headed toward the United States, have filed a class action lawsuit against the president, the Department of Homeland Security, the attorney general and other government officials. The suit alleges that:

“Trump’s professed and enacted policy towards thousands of caravanners seeking asylum in the United States is shockingly unconstitutional. 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.”

If you think those contentions sound absurd, you’d be correct. The Supreme Court has definitively held, in Landon v. Plascencia, that “an alien seeking initial admission to the United States requests a privilege, and has no constitutional rights regarding his application, for the power to admit or exclude aliens is a sovereign prerogative.” Accordingly, foreign nationals, especially those currently in a safe third country have no “right” to seek asylum.

Additionally, the plaintiffs have no legal standing to pursue a lawsuit in the courts of the United States. They are citizens of Honduras, currently in Mexico, who lack any of the connections to the U.S. that are required to access American courts. It is a long settled principle that aliens, residing outside of the U.S., with no established connections thereto, lack standing to sue in American courts. The mere fact that a foreign national living abroad might be affected by the decisions of a U.S. official is not sufficient to establish standing. (These principles are best summarized in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s holding in Berlin Democratic Club v. Rumsfeld. This is the court where the caravan members have filed their lawsuit.)

Therefore, it’s a pretty good bet that the caravan lawsuit will be dismissed for both failure to state a legitimate constitutional claim and lack of standing. So, what’s really going on here? Is it just political theater?

Agitprop is certainly one factor influencing this lawsuit. But there may be another – good old fashioned capitalist profit. The caravan members are being represented by Nexus Derechos Humanos Attorneys (NDHA), Inc.and their legal costs are being covered by NDHA’s business affiliate Nexus Services, Inc.

Nexus Services, Inc. provides bond services for detained immigrants and generates significant profits doing so. It’s also the parent company of Libre by Nexus, an arranger of third party bond financing, which is facing a federal class action lawsuit in the Northern District of California for allegedly exploiting detainees “vulnerability and limited understanding of English to foist crushing financial terms” on them. Libre by Nexus is also facing fraud and abuse investigations by the Attorneys General of New York and Virginia.

So, to the reasonable observer, it looks like Nexus Services is abusing our legal system by filing frivolous lawsuits, not because it cares about asylum seekers, but for its own business reasons. On the off chance it obtains some type of injunction obligating the Trump administration to consider caravan members’ asylum applications, it guarantees a steady stream of vulnerable, low-income aliens potentially in need of its services. But even if the suit is dismissed out-of-hand, Nexus Services ensures that thousands of aliens who want to enter the U.S. see it as a socially conscious company interested in their well-being.

Call us cynical, if you must, but the courts of the United States were never intended to be used as a propaganda tool by allegedly shady businesses. Let’s hope this case is assigned to a judge who sees through the smoke and mirrors and rules in favor of American sovereignty.

About Author

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Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats.He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.

4 Comments

  1. avatar

    At this point in time it would seem that Anyone who is Pro Amnesty is guilty of “Conspiracy to overthrow the Government of the United States of America.”

  2. avatar

    The ambulance chasers who are bringing a lawsuit for foreign nationals not even in our country should have their licenses revoked and be barred from ever practicing law in the USA again.

  3. avatar

    The loss of the House is really nothing unusual, just the typical off year setbacks for the party in the White House. It’s not like they really backed Trump on most of his immigration proposals. Fortunately control of the Senate will probably increase by at least a couple seats. That is very important because it all comes down to judges judges judges. Democrats are unlikely to vote for any Trump nominees to the Supreme Court. Sitting back and saying the Supreme Court is fine for the next 20 years is totally unrealistic. So far two conservatives have replaced two conservatives. The real advantage would be a Trump nominee replacing one of the open borders liberals. {Yeah you’re right. Open borders and liberals is redundant.}

    During the campaign Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia loudly proclaimed how he liked Trump and he could support a lot of his agenda. He wins on Tuesday, barely, and the first thing Wednesday, being the true snake a lot of politicians are, he starts bashing Trump big time. Trump told you when you vote for these people pretending to be other than what they are you were voting for Pelosi and Schumer.

    Michelle Obama is out with a new book, which is nothing more than her usual propaganda and lying. She wrote how Trump “stalked” Hillary during the third debate. A total lie. She left her lectern and walked directly in front of his. Was he supposed to run away? Just watch the video. Then Michelle condemned Trump for his “tone”. Laughable considering that the Obamas sat in the pews of the church of Rev. Wright for 20 years while he spewed his anti white anti American swill and then claimed they heard none of it, even though Obama quoted him in his books.

    Obama painted a target on the back of every cop in this country due to his constant habit of taking the side of some criminal who had an interaction with law enforcement. And then he excused the rioting that destroyed the property of hard working black citizens when a cop was justifiably cleared. Supposedly we elected a “post racial president” but we got one who had Al Sharpton on speed dial.

    Then there was the fact that Obama was seen as a pushover by the rest of the world. He rewarded Iran by dropping all sanctions and then they boarded one of our ships and had our sailors kneeling on the deck while guns were held on them. They wouldn’t do that with Trump, because he isn’t the pandering jelly fish Obama is.

  4. avatar

    You’re hoping the lawsuit is put before a judge who understands basic constitutional principles? These days, that’s asking a helluva lot!

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