US Asylum Officers Take Own Administration to Court
US Asylum Officers, with the support of their union, are exercising their obligation to Intelligent Disobedience in the face of orders that violate the legal and moral principles to which Asylum Officers are bound. This is an example of an ethically reasoned and orderly response to a policy they perceive causes harm and, in some cases, the loss of human life. Their court filing states the policy the Administration is pursuing is “fundamentally contrary to the moral fabric of our nation and our international and domestic legal obligations.”
Note that this is an example of the distinction between civil disobedience, in which individuals choose to violate a law to correct an injustice, and intelligent disobedience in which the law itself is being turned to in order to correct a harmful policy or order. It is citizens and civil servants who are the ultimate bulwark against the slide into authoritarianism. The earlier that stands like this are taken, the greater the chances of interrupting that slippery slope away from the cherished values of freedom and justice.