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Amid Chaos, Trump’s Administration Blindly Sends Asylum-Seekers Back to Dangerous Countries

 

In recent news in Trump’s asylum crisis, Trump and his administration are prepared to sign a rule that would fast-track asylum-seekers’ deportation back to the dangerous conditions in Central America, starting with Guatemala as early as this week — a country that has not been deemed a “safe third country” because clearly it is not one.

Shedding light on these extreme measures to thwart asylum-seekers, Hamed Aleaziz underscores in a BuzzFeed piece entitled “Trump Is Sending Asylum-Seekers To Guatemala. His Administration Privately Admitted It Had No Idea What Would Happen To Them Next,” that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is blindly moving forward despite having next to zero plans on how these refugees will be treated in the asylum process. 

In a DHS brief prepared for acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, and quoted by BuzzFeed, DHS said,

There is uncertainty as to who will provide orientation services for migrants as well as who will provide shelter, food, transportation, and other care…The U.S. needs confirmation from the [Government of Guatemala] that they will provide shelter, transportation, and food…If not, the U.S. and [Government of Guatemala] need to brainstorm other avenues of assistance.

As Trump continues his effort to end the asylum system and prevent valid asylum claims from ever being heard or adjudicated, recent pushback from asylum officers, who have spoken out on these processes, underscores that not everyone is okay with placing these asylum-seekers in danger.  

According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice:

Once again, Trump is executing a poorly thought out plan to enact Stephen Miller’s agenda of keeping asylum-seekers out regardless of whether their asylum claims are valid and lawful. Rather than protecting asylum-seekers, as our law requires, Trump, Miller and the Republicans simply want to end asylum. That women, children and families fleeing violence and asking for refuge are being returned to danger in Guatemala or Mexico or anywhere else doesn’t seem to concern the U.S. government. 

Asylum is a longstanding pillar of American immigration law and foreign policy, part of our commitment as a nation after World War II to make sure those facing persecution are not left in danger. For Trump to deny vulnerable migrants of their legal right to petition asylum is a stain on America’s history. In a matter of life and death, Trump, Miller and their Republican allies are mindlessly pursuing their cruel and xenophobic agenda to push responsibility onto the Northern Triangle countries — which not only lack the proper infrastructure to offer asylum, but grapple with extreme violence. This act of recklessness is just another example of the blind leading the blind when it comes to creating and implementing anti-immigration policies, which have lead to chaos, tragedy and death.