In attempting to process what appears to be yet another impulsive and quixotic policy implemented by the President, this time resulting in unimaginable human suffering at our borders, I did some research and found interesting information to share.
“Every year people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution……..Asylum status is a form of protection available to people who:
Meet the definition of refugees, are already in the United States, are seeking admission at a port of entry
You may apply for asylum in the United States regardless of your country of origin or your current immigration status.
You may include your spouse and children who are in the United States on your application at the time you file or at any time until a final decision is made on your case. To include your child on your application, the child must be under 21 and unmarried.
Refugee status or asylum may be granted to people who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion. Asylum is a protection available to people who are already in the United States or are seeking admission at the U.S. border.
Refugee status is a form of protection that may be granted to people who meet the definition of refugee and who are of special humanitarian concern to the United States. Refugees are generally people outside of their country who are unable or unwilling to return home because they fear serious harm.”
Wonder where this information comes from? It is taken directly from The Department of Homeland Security website!
Also, in my search for clarification I found an interesting article by Lindsay M. Harris, an assistant professor of law at the University of the District of Columbia and the vice chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s National Asylum and Refugee Committee on today’s Washington Post website.
“A “zero tolerance” policy is particularly problematic for asylum seekers. The Refugee Convention states that nations shall not penalize asylum seekers for irregular entry. Indeed, since 1987 , the Board of Immigration Appeals, our highest immigration tribunal has directed immigration judges to forgive irregular entry because of the circumstances of seeking asylum.
But asylum standards are becoming more restrictive. In June, Sessions reversed a grant of asylum for a Salvadoran woman fleeing domestic violence, single-handedly undoing two decades of progress for gender-based asylum claims. He also changed the standard for asylum to require not only that the government in a migrant’s home country is unwilling or unable to protect the asylum seeker from harm, but also that the government is actively condoning persecution by nonstate actors — a higher bar for applicants to meet.”
To me, the Trump Administration’s ability to dictate and carry out policy without a whimper from the other two branches of government is ominous and portends darker times ahead. Our hope lies not in mimicking the reaction of Congress but by supporting protest marches, writing and calling our Congressional Representatives (believe me it makes a difference when they hear from their constituents!) and by urging everyone we know to follow our lead and vote in November.