Yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection acting commissioner Mark Morgan claimed that the Trump administration’s border and asylum policies were a success, based on the declining number of border apprehensions in August (of note, while the monthly data on total apprehensions show a decline of 22 percentage points compared to July, the figure still represents the highest August totals in a decade).
The following is a statement from Pili Tobar, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:
Trump said at his North Carolina rally on Monday that when it comes to asylum seekers, ‘we are stopping them so we don’t even have to worry about court.’ It couldn’t be clearer, success for this President is to cut off the U.S. justice system and undermine our own laws.
The standard to judge ‘success’ should be whether the United States is living up to our laws and obligations to give individuals fleeing desperation and violence a fair process, to have their case heard and tested. Many will not be granted asylum, but all deserve – and are entitled to under U.S. and international law – a real chance to adjudicate their case. By this measure, Trump is an abject failure. There are no successes associated with the Trump administration’s ongoing assault on immigrants and on human rights along our borders. Trump sparked and presides over a catastrophe along our southern border, ignoring laws and trampling on our values in the process
The real trend that deserves attention isn’t the August monthly numbers, but the growing body of evidence of how the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy is exacting a toll on tens of thousands of desperate lives. Pushing asylum seekers into Mexico is forcing people into homelessness and danger and eviscerating their chance at a fair hearing and real due process — all while thumbing our nose at the laws and obligations that once made the U.S. a beacon of hope for millions around the world.
This isn’t a numbers game – it’s a test of our values and commitments and one that Trump is failing miserably.