United Nations refugee agency 'deeply concerned' about USA asylum curbs

Wednesday, 17 Jul, 2019

It is certain to face legal challenges.

What is ignored in the enactment of these policies is the "push factor", which are the conditions of violence, poverty and government corruption created in Central America by over a century of USA imperialist oppression.

The new rule, scheduled to take effect Tuesday, will apply chiefly to migrants who travel through Central America and Mexico to reach the U.S.

Mexico's asylum system is also now overwhelmed by a rise in requests.

The Trump administration has announced new immigration rules ending asylum protections for nearly all migrants who arrive at the US-Mexico border, in violation of both US and global law.

"We can't let people that make up the majority of asylum-seekers, who are not qualified, bring down the system and prevent truly qualified asylum-seekers from accessing protection", Vaughan said.

Trump administration officials say the changes are meant to close the gap between the initial asylum screening that most people pass and the final decision on asylum, which most people are denied.

According to the plan, migrants who pass through another country - in this case, Mexico - on their way to the United States will be ineligible for asylum.

Immigrant rights groups say the Republican administration's policies are a cruel effort to keep immigrants out.

As part of its justification for the shift, the administration cited the dramatic increase in families and children arriving largely from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

"Fiddling around with regulations doesn't change the law", said Jason Dzubow, a Washington, D.C., attorney who focuses on asylum law. "But it is patently unlawful".

But will scrapping asylum actually prevent migrants from "forum shopping" for a country not based on safety considerations but economic ones, as the administration insists they are doing?

The US announcement comes after a court in Guatemala temporarily blocked a migration deal which could have seen the Central American nation defined as a "safe third country".

The agreement would have reportedly allowed the United States to send to Guatemala not only Central Americans, but also Haitians, Africans and South Asians turning up on the USA southern border.

"This Rule is a lawful exercise of authority provided by Congress to restrict eligibility for asylum". According to Customs and Border Protection data, more than 100 countries of origin were represented by people crossing the southwest border in 2018, including migrants from Brazil, India, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Bangladesh.

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Mexico City added that any refugees who are rejected by the USA should be sent to their country of origin and not to Mexico.

Democrats who have visited the facilities run by U.S. Border Patrol and Protection (CBP) have expressed outrage at the filthy conditions at the facilities.

Almost all of those efforts have been blocked by courts.

The American Civil Liberties Union said: "The Trump administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country's legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger". This has strained the country's border resources and stressed its processing capacity to a breaking point. A Department of Homeland Security report released earlier this month found near double overcrowding, sick detainees, and a shortage of food and hygiene products.

On Friday, House members and witnesses in an Oversight Committee hearing had emotional exchanges discussing conditions at border holding centers. In tweets, the President has called Mexico "one of the most unsafe country's in the world" and claimed that the murder rate in the country has increased.

"We understand that the USA asylum system is under significant strain". He left his home after gangs threatened to kill him if he didn't pay their "tax". There is now a backlog of 800,000 asylum cases, meaning many applicants wait many years for their plea to be heard.