Latest asylum rule is proof of the Trump administration’s racist agenda

PRESS STATEMENT

For Immediate Release

Latest asylum rule is proof of the Trump administration’s racist agenda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Amy Shannon: ashannon@alianzaamericas.org
Yancy Nuñez: ynunez@alianzaamericas.org

The United States has abandoned morality and compassion for flagrant discrimination against Central American and Caribbean populations seeking refuge.

July 17, 2019 – As of yesterday, the United States is implementing a new rule requiring all asylum seekers who have travelled to the border by way of another country to first apply for asylum in the transit country before applying in the United States.  Oscar Chacon, Executive Director for Alianza Americas, issued the following statement on the matter:

“This policy will essentially make asylum unattainable for people from Central America who are travelling through the Central America-Mexico corridor.  In practical terms, this requirement is a negation of the right to asylum. It is a clearly racist measure that is part of a pattern of discrimination against Latin American and Caribbean populations, particularly those from Central America, and advances an agenda built on white supremacy that has consistently characterized President Trump and will continue to be part of his re-election strategy in 2020.

Having been thwarted in its initial attempts to force Safe Third Country” agreements on Mexico and Guatemala, the United States taken unilateral action that will bring devastating consequences to the region.  The country that claims to be the strongest and most stable on the continent has shamefully resolved to export a humanitarian crisis to less stable countries. This rule will create greater vulnerability, leading to new forms of extortion and trafficking for thousands of foreigners travelling through the Central America-Mexico-US corridor in search of protection.  Additionally, it reinforces a focus on punishment and restriction that has failed for decades, and does nothing to address the causes that are forcing thousands of Central Americans to flee. The Trump administration’s failed strategies have resulted in deaths, trauma, suffering, and lack of protection.

With this rule, the United States is ignoring international responsibilities to offer protection to those who have fled their countries in search of safety.  The United States is violating the principle of non-refoulement by adding an additional requirement for asylum seekers that runs contrary to international rights and United States law. This violation of national laws and international responsibilities must be challenged immediately.

Children, women, men and families who have been forced to flee Central America require support and protection.  The United States is morally responsible for the causes driving this exodus that has been occurring through decades of failed policies and strategies in the region.  The United States can and must come up with measures to respond to this massive exodus. Instead of being an example to the world of how to address humanitarian crises, the United States is doing the complete opposite, demonstrating how not to respond to migration and refugees.

Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more than 100,000 families across the United States. It is the only US-based organization rooted in Latino and Caribbean immigrant communities that works transnationally to create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable way of life. Learn more at alianzaamericas.org.

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