Trump Wants To Disqualify Most Central Americans From Seeking Asylum In The U.S.

by Christina Marfice

This new Trump policy is just the latest in his remarkably inhumane immigration strategy

Breaking news reports today have revealed that the Trump Administration is planning a new policy that could go into effect as early as tomorrow, and that says anyone who comes to the United States border by passing through another country first is ineligible for asylum here. This would make the vast majority of asylum seekers from Central American countries ineligible, since their only way of reaching the border to present themselves for asylum is often on foot, crossing through Mexico on their way.

This policy will include unaccompanied children and minors. It would deter most asylum-seeking migrants from the U.S., since most come from Central America. Under the new rule, migrants can’t ask for asylum in the U.S. unless they’ve already asked for asylum in another country and been denied. That means the only way asylum-seekers can circumvent this rule is to seek asylum in Mexico, wait to get turned down, and then continue on to the U.S. border.

Asylum seekers are required to physically present themselves at the U.S. border in order to even ask for asylum, which means this policy would make it literally physically impossible for migrants to seek asylum in the U.S. unless they’ve already sought asylum and been denied in Mexico.

“By deterring meritless asylum claims and de-prioritizing the applications of individuals who could have obtained protection in another country, the Departments seek to ensure that those refugees who have no alternative to U.S.-based asylum relief or have been subjected to an extreme form of human trafficking are able to obtain relief more quickly,” the policy reads. “Additionally, the rule seeks to curtail the humanitarian crisis created by human smugglers bringing men, women, and children across the southern border.”

The ACLU has already promised to sue the government agencies behind this new policy, which is a joint effort by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice.

“The Trump administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country’s legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger,” and ACLU deputy director told the Texas Tribune. “This new rule is patently unlawful and we will sue swiftly.”

This comes as the U.S. is seeing a huge surge in children and families crossing at the southern border as they flee violence and persecution in many Central American countries. The Trump administration has enacted a number of inhuman immigration policies, including the creation of detention camps for children that experts say are akin to concentration camps. Kids have been dying in U.S. custody in alarming numbers, and the Trump Administration’s solution is to prevent those kids from coming here at all, subjecting them to extreme violence in their home countries instead. It’s shameful, and we can only hope the ACLU and other legal challengers can block this new policy before it goes into effect.